The Level Project Update December 2012 – By Linda Anglin City Parks Projects Team

Build programme
This is currently running to schedule with no significant delays. Gavin Jones, the Landscape Contractor, have completed their demolition and started work on the south entrance and playground area. Some of the play equipment is currently being installed – however, the landscaping, safety surfacing and grassing will not happen for a while.
We welcomed Thomas Sinden, the appointed contractors for the new café building, on site a couple of weeks ago and they have also completed their demolition. You should start to see the frame for the new building going up in February.
Other news on the construction site is that there is an employment opportunity for a local person to work as an Administration Assistant in the site office, working for Gavin Jones, for the period of the contract. The post is being advertised through the JobCentre. Gavin Jones has already employed one other local person to work
at The Level as a Banksman (the person who controls entry to and from the site, and is essential in ensuring on-site safety).
Please note The Level site will be closed over the Christmas/New Year period, but security patrols will be operating. You can report any problems with the site to the Gavin Jones contact at the end of this newsletter.
Looking forward, Midas, the contractors Freestyle Skateparks are using, commence work on or around 14 January. We are also expecting students from City College Brighton & Hove to start work restoring part of the perimeter stone wall. This is something which will give them valuable practical experience in building and repairing stone walls, which is part of their bricklaying course curriculum. They will be supervised by their course tutors and Gavin Jones construction staff.
We will start tours of the construction site in February once there is more to see. Let Claire Morgan know if you are interested, and look out for posters and notices. (Contact details below)
There’s been a lot of interest in running our new café, for which the lease is currently out to tender. We are aiming to appoint someone who has a strong community ethos and can provide a menu which offers a range of choices to suit a range of budgets and dietary requirements.
The marketing is being done by Cluttons, who can supply a brochure. The deadline is 19 December and we look forward to reading the bids during the seasonal break. We expect to appoint the successful tenant by the end of January. Contact Cluttons on 01273 738383, or Email brighton@cluttons.com
The new café will be built to a high specification, with full height glass doors opening out to a substantial outside dining terrace on three sides. The building will have external timber cladding and a planted green pitched roof with high sustainability measures including solar panels and air source underfloor heating.

Oral History Project
The oral history recruits have now had two training sessions and they have covered an enormous amount in that time. The group are an enthusiastic and very capable bunch of volunteers aged between 18 and 70 years.
We are still hoping to identify people who would like to be interviewed and share their memories of The Level – and have those memories saved in the archives for people from other generations to hear and find ou what life was like in Brighton on The Level at that time. We are also very keen to see any photographs of The Level during war-time and in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. If you have any, or know someone who has, I hope this spurs you on to dig them out and bring them along to The Level Memory Day at the Phoenix Gallery, Red Room, on Friday 8 February, 10am until 4pm.

Update on other Activities
Claire has been working hard putting together information packs for the different volunteer activities residents can sign up for. We’ll let you know when this information is available. She has also started working with local schools, plus educational and other clubs and groups interested in using The Level for sports days, trips outs, holiday clubs etc.

The community artists, who are working on the new 2D art installation for The Level, have met many members of the community at the Information and Closing Down events. They have also just met children at St Bart’s
school and have had a chance to hear some of the stories that Dr Sam Carroll, the project’s oral historian, has gathered.
The artists have also been down on site to consider the placement of the new art installation, and things are beginning to take shape.
So we keep a record of The Level’s transformation for future generations to enjoy, we are encouraging everyone who is passing by to take and upload their pictures and /or videos of the site to our Facebook or Flickr page, or our Youtube channel; we will select the best in conjunction with community representatives and may use some in our exhibition later. See the end of this newsletter for social media contacts.

Thinking ahead
The work to open up and restore the pavilions is underway. They will provide new community rooms and exhibition space for hire. Let Claire know if you are interested in using these spaces, if you have not done so already, so we can better understand your requirements. To give you a better idea of the space available, we can arrange a site visit in a month or so.

Help decide The Level’s future – come to our new Forum
The first ‘Communities of The Level Forum’ will be on Thursday 31 January 2013, 6-7.30pm in the multi-purpose room at the Salvation Army in Park Crescent. This meeting will be run by an independent facilitator from the Trust for Developing Communities. It’s an opportunity for local residents and community groups to get updates on the park’s plans (including from our community artists about the 2D art installation), to hear about the council’s support for groups and volunteers at The Level, to co-operatively establish the format, scope and function of any future Forum, and discuss what its aims could be. Refreshments will be provided.
Contact us now to express interest. As there is limited space available, we will be asking people to confirm they’re coming.

I just want to thank everyone who helped or came along to the closing event on Saturday 13 October. It was a lot of fun and we had the chance to meet and talk to many local residents. The Play Bus and the Downland Sheep were, as usual, a huge success.
Spiral Wave Radio representatives were there talking to visitors about their feelings about The Level’s past, and their hopes for the future. This radio station, part of Spiral Sussex, is run with people with learning disabilities and they are going to make a radio programme about The Level; you’ll be able to listen on-line at spiralsussex.co.uk shortly.

Dates for Your Diary
Thursday 31 January 2013 – Communities of The Level Forum.
Come along to The Level Memory Day at the Phoenix Gallery, Red Room, on Friday 8 February, 10 am until 4 pm. Don’t forget to bring your old photos and other memorabilia!
Look out for details of Construction Site Visits starting in February.

Contact Details
• Get construction updates, find out more or download posters by visiting www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/thelevel
• Email Fiona Stokes at parksprojects@brighton-hove.gov.uk if you or someone you know would be a good candidate to interview as part of the Oral History project.
• Email Claire Morgan at parksprojects@brighton-hove.gov.uk for any other volunteering opportunities, ideas or questions about the community engagement side of the project. Or log on towww.brightonhove.gov.uk/joinusonthelevel for more information.
• If you don’t have access to the internet, we are happy to send you information by post. Write to us at Brighton & Hove City Council, Parks Projects Team, Hollingdean Depot, Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton BN1 7GA, or call us on 01273 292929 to arrange a call-back.
• If you wish to report any problems with The Level site, contact Gavin Jones, or Emailthelevel@gavinjones.co.uk
• Check for The Level news and updates on our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube).

All the best for the New Year!

Linda Anglin
City Parks Projects Team
14 December 2012