A campaign to change the name of Eastbourne’s Arndale Centre is growing in popularity.
The centre will undergo a major refurbishment and expansion programme over the next two years and the idea of changing its name has been mooted.
The Arndale in Eastbourne was named after property magnates, baker Arnold Hagenbach and estate agent and former civil servant Sam Chippindale, who founded the retail development company which built the centre and 21 others of the same name across the UK including the one in Manchester bombed by the IRA.
But campaigners say the name Arndale bears no relevance to Eastbourne, nor what was there before they built the centre, and has no historic link with the town.
Eastbourne Borough Council chief David Tutt said the authority would welcome any move to rename the centre and on social networking site Facebook, people have been coming up with suggestions for a new name including Arcadia Centre, the Cavendish Centre and Devonshire Centre.
“I would support any plans to change the name of the centre and would like to hear suggestions that come from local people,” said Councillor Tutt.
The centre is owned by Legal and General Property and its head of retail development Simon Russian said the company would consider a name change.
“One of the issues that will be addressed, as plans to extend the Arndale Centre progress, will be the question of its name,” said Mr Russian. “The Arndale Centre has been part of Eastbourne for many years and is well-known as such, but it will be transformed by the extension and it would seem an appropriate time to consider a name change. No decision has been made and it is something that would be looked at very carefully before any change was considered.”
Work on the Arndale facelift starts later this year.