More than 700 jobs will be created in Eastbourne when the Arndale Centre is extended and refurbished.
A multi-screen cinema and more retail units are in the offing after the centre owners Legal and General Property were given the green light to go ahead with its revised £85 million revamp.
Work on the centre’s leisure and retail extension will start in early 2015.
In 2012, Eastbourne Borough Council granted LGP approval for a £70 million extension that would create an additional 175,000 sq ft of retail space, arranged over 22 new ground and first floor units.
The company’s revised application, which included seven restaurants and a cinema, was submitted in December 2013 and planning permission granted last month.
The extension is due to start on site in early 2015 and reach practical completion by the end of 2016.
Developers say that once constructed, the major town centre regeneration project is expected to create of 700 full time jobs and provide a significant boost to the local economy.
Simon Russian, head of development at LGP, said the addition of new restaurants and a state-of-the-art cinema would “revitalise the night-time economy of Eastbourne”, while new shops will give the town one of the best shopping offers in the region.
He said, “Well located in the heart of Eastbourne’s town centre, this exciting extension will significantly enhance the schemes’ offer, attracting visitors from across the south of England and acting as an important catalyst for Eastbourne’s wider regeneration.”
The regeneration plan includes creating a new entrance to the centre where the Gildredge Pub is now – likely to be marked by a flagship store such as H&M – and new shops along the Diesel Alley stretch of Terminus Road.
With work expected to start on site in the middle of 2015, the first phase of retail outlets are set to open in autumn 2016 and cinema due to open late 2017.
There are also possible plans to change the name of the centre.