Brighton Sea Life Centre to reopen after restoration work

Part of the Brighton Sea Life Centre during the restoration work
Image caption Hundreds of sea creatures had to be moved out before the work began

A Sussex tourist attraction is preparing to reopen following a £2m refurbishment which has been completed in time to mark its 140th anniversary.

Brighton Sea Life Centre closed in October to allow restoration work to start on its Victorian architecture.

A team of specialist stonemasons has restored the ornate stonework in the arcade section of the aquarium.

Much of the arcade's carvings and architecture dates back to 1872, when the first aquarium opened.

'Hidden corridors'

Owner Merlin Entertainments has also invested in new "behind the scenes" and "jellyfish discovery" attractions.

General manager Max Leviston said: "For the first time in its long history, we will be allowing visitors into the warren of corridors and anterooms previously hidden from the public gaze.

"They will see the complex life-support systems that help keep our thousands of creatures fit and healthy; our breeding and research facilities and our food preparation room, and they will hear about the work that goes on in each."

Hundreds of sea creatures were moved to holding facilities in London and Weymouth when the work began, while others were relocated to new temporary tanks in the auditorium above the main ocean tank.

They will be moved back in stages ahead of the opening on Sunday 13 May.

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