Sovereign Harbour is to lose its cinema to the Arndale Centre and a harbour campaigner has described the move as a ‘betrayal’.
Last week the Herald reported that Cineworld, the chain which occupies the cinema at Eastbourne’s marina, will move to the brand new purpose-built digital cinema in the town centre in late 2017 or early 2018, once the Arndale extension is completed.
Ian Weeks, who has long campaigned for more facilities at the harbour, tweeted in response to the article in the Herald last week. He took to social media to say, “If the viability of the Arndale extension depends on downgrading the retail park, it has no merit and will add no value.”
He also tweeted, “I hope, @Eastbournenews that Cineworld customers will vote with their feet to show their contempt for this small-minded decision.”
Mr Weeks spoke to the Herald and said he felt let down by Eastbourne Borough Council because he feels the expansion of Sovereign Harbour has been ‘abandoned’ in favour of the town centre.
He told the Herald the announcement that the cinema was moving had put plans to develop the harbour back three years.
He said, “There are 4,000 homes here at the harbour and nothing else – we are an unsustainable community.
“Moving the cinema will put more pressure on the Waterfront and make our community even more isolated.”
Mr Weeks said free parking made Sovereign Harbour the ideal place for a cinema and it was ‘disappointing’ Cineworld was moving.
He added, “We have been working with the council on a plan to redevelop the harbour for years but that has just been picked away at and downgraded in favour of the town centre.”
David Tutt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “This is a commercial decision for Cineworld, not a decision of the council.”
Cineworld was unavailable for comment.