Revealing shape of things to come for Eastbourne shoppers

Light and space ...
Light and space ...

New Computer Generated Images showing the interior of the new Arndale Centre extension have been unveiled this week.

They have been revealed as bosses at centre owners, Legal & General, attended a trade exhibition in a bid to encourage new shops to sign up for units within the extension.

Soaring ceiling ...

Soaring ceiling ...

Already H&M, Fat Face and a string of eateries from Carluccio’s to Byron Burgers have struck a deal to open in the shopping complex within the next 18 months.

Building work is moving at a steady pace on the site between the former Gildredge pub end of Terminus Road and what was Watsons News close to McDonald’s.

The steel framework which can be seen coming out of the ground closest to the railway station will be a new Next store and at the other end of the site H&M will be opening up.

The existing Arndale Centre will meet with the new extension next to River Island where Next once was.

Stylish shopping experience ...

Stylish shopping experience ...

All of this comes as the debate about the name for the Arndale Centre – The Beacon – continues.

Earlier this month, Legal & General announced the opening of the £85 million extension in the run-up to Christmas 2018 would be celebrated with the new name and the new look and the entire shopping centre will be re-branded as The Beacon.

The name was agreed following discussions, consultations and focus group meetings and officials say it reflects the growing stature of the town in acting as a beacon for new investments and new developments.

They say the 22 new retail units, seven restaurants and eight-screen cinema in the extension, coupled with the range of shops in the existing centre, will act as a beacon to shoppers around the region looking for an exciting new experience.

It’s hoped the word ‘beacon’ will also remind people of the coastal history and the landmark Beachy Head Lighthouse.

Andrew Rice, fund manager for Legal & General, said he was delighted with the new name.

“It’s never easy to find a new name for a shopping centre with a 37-year history in the town,” he said.

“But after discussions and explorations, including meetings with key opinion formers in Eastbourne, we agreed unanimously The Beacon was a great new name.”

Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Stephen Lloyd MP said, “I think this is a perfect new name for what will soon be our stunning new shopping centre. Eastbourne has been bucking the trend for the last 10 years compared to most other seaside towns across the UK and securing such a major investment of private money shows many serious investors recognise our town has a great future. And they’re right.”

Eastbourne council leader David Tutt said the new name had stronger links to Eastbourne than the Arndale.

“The Beacon is a definite improvement on the Arndale,” said Councillor Tutt.

“To me, The Beacon is an image of our wonderful lighthouse shining a light across Eastbourne and the surrounding area.”

Leader of the opposition at Eastbourne council Tony Freebody said he was delighted at the progress of the scheme.

“We can now see real visible progress on the extension to the Arndale Centre/The Beacon,” said Councillor Freebody.

“This, coupled with the town centre improvements, will not only improve the offer for local residents and visitors, but will ensure people will want to visit our town centre for years to come.

“It is one piece of a regeneration jigsaw puzzle that truly puts Eastbourne on the map.”