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The towns of Brighton and Hove are two separate towns, but people commonly think of Brighton first and foremost. It is one of the most cosmopolitan towns in the country and a super-fashionable seaside resort, which many a celebrity, including Zoe Ball, calls home. The unofficial gay capital of the UK, thanks to its large LGBT population, Brighton is a colourful place to be, renowned for its quirky independent shopping areas and diverse music and arts scene.
The town’s main attractions were built in the Victorian era, such as the Metropole Hotel, Grand Hotel, the Brighton Palace Pier and the West Pier, which famously caught fire in 2003. The remains of the structure still stand in the sea as a stark reminder. The Brighton Palace Pier is still going strong – it features a funfair, restaurants and arcades – while the British Airways i360 observation tower opened in August 2016. At 162m high, with an observation pod rising to 138m, it is Britain’s highest observation tower outside London.
The 5.4-mile shingle beach is known for its hundreds of painted timber beach huts, and the seafront boasts many a restaurant, coffee shop, sports facility, nightclub and bar… The atmosphere on an evening is electric! If you crave a slice of culture, however, there’s the Duke of York Picturehouse, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, the Brighton Centre, the Theatre Royal and the Brighton Dome, where ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1974!
Brighton has several railway stations, many bus routes, coach services and taxis, and is connected to the national road network by the A23. Frequent trains operate from Brighton Railway Station (many residents commute to London for work), while Brighton Airport is located nine miles west of the town near Shoreham-by-Sea.
But not all the working population commutes to London every day. Brighton itself is an important centre for commerce and employment, and has several major companies based here. Brighton’s largest private sector employer is American Express, whose European headquarters are on John Street, while other major employers include Lloyds Bank, Asda, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company and Gatwick Airport. And that’s not forgetting all the associated leisure, retail and tourism industries.
As for education, Brighton & Hove City Council is responsible for 80 schools, of which 54 are in Brighton. The town is also home to various public universities and colleges such as Hove College near the County Cricket Ground. The University of Sussex and the University of Brighton have student populations of 17,300 and 20,017 respectively, while the British and Irish Modern Music Institute opened its doors in 2001. Notable alumni include James Bay, The Kooks and Tom Odell!
The average price for property in Brighton stood at £402,904 in December 2018 (this is a fall of 1.61 per cent in the last three months). In terms of property types, flats in Brighton sold for an average of £289,524 and terraced houses for £450,992.
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