Langney Shopping Centre management has broken its silence and given an update on the roof collapse which took place before Christmas.
The centre has been deemed dangerous and has been closed since December 21.
Business people, employees, people who lived above the centre and customers have been anxiously waiting for news on the future of the centre. The managers of the centre, London and Associated management Services, had remained tight lipped but this week said they would be starting the process of clearing the debris, which is expected to take some four weeks.
David Brown, director, said, “Our overwhelming concern is for our traders and the residential tenants who lived in the building.
“We are making every effort to get the Langney Shopping Centre reopened following the roof collapse in December. Engineers are undertaking detailed investigations to establish the cause of the collapse. Until those investigations conclude, the Dangerous Structure Notice will remain in place preventing any access to the building.
“Our absolute priority is to get the centre open and trading again. We will continue to work with individual tenants to facilitate the opening of temporary facilities where that is appropriate.”
Boots has put up a temporary structure in the car park to offer people a pharmacy service - the firm did a similar thing when its premises at The Crumbles retail park was damaged in a fire.
Some market traders are also expected to return with the popular twice-weekly market in the car park. The traders, who have been unable to set up their stalls since the closure in December, are expected back tomorrow (February 2).
Meanwhile, other businesses are doing what they can to keep things ticking over. This week, Paul Hullatt from Hullatt’s carpet and furniture shop in Langney Shopping Centre, explained he was running the family business with a mobile showroom.
Paul said, “It works quite well, because people like to see the carpet sample in their homes. It means they can match it in with their decor and furniture.”
Many businesses say they have felt frustrated at the lack of information coming from the management but Paul said, “What really is a blessing is that no-one was hurt. We now need to be patient because no decision can be made until we get the reports back and we know what is happening.”
Hullatt’s, like many businesses, has had its phones redirected to the family home and has had to reorganise deliveries. Paul said customers have been very understanding and he has received messages from well-wishers.