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The Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Cllr Brian Fitch, accompanied by the Mayoress, Mrs Norah Fitch, attended a charity fundraising evening at St Stephen’s Hall in Montpelier Place, to celebrate the building’s history and heritage.
Once the ballroom of the Prince Regent, attached to the Royal Pavilion, St Stephen’s is now a BHT’s First Base Day Centre.
In 1822 the ballroom was connected to the Royal Pavilion and became a private chapel for George IV, and subsequently William IV and Queen Victoria, prior to being moved, brick by brick, to its current location in 1850. St Stephen’s hall also served as a a centre for deaf people before BHT acquired the building in 1984.
The evening, which included a three course meal prepared by BHT’s social enterprise and training project, Dine, was attended by 35 guests, including Baroness Gould of Potternewton, former Member of Parliament, David Lepper, and councillors.
Guests heard talks on the history of the building by heritage experts Nick Tyson, Curator at The Regency Town House, Dr Tracy Anderson, Post-doctoral Researcher at The Royal Pavilion and Sara Peskett, BHT’s Heritage Officer, a post funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
St Stephens has seen much change over the last two hundred years. It now is itself a place of positive change, where men and women with a history of sleeping rough are supported to make the changes needed to move into education, training and, ultimately, work and secure accommodation.
Sara Peskett, BHT Heritage Officer