Furniture store Hulatts celebrated its re-opening in Langney Shopping Centre on Saturday (August 3).
The well-established business, like all others in the Langney centre, was forced to close back in December when the roof of the centre caved in four days before Christmas.
After six months businesses have moved back in, customers are shopping in their much-missed centre and the owners put on a family fun day to celebrate the re-opening.
Paul Hulatt, the owner of the furniture store, had his re-opening on the same day as the family fun day and said it was a great success.
Paul said, “It was really lovely to see so many people and I think the kids face-painting and live music really helped to encourage people to come along.
“We had all our staff in and we were struggling to serve everyone it was so busy.”
Paul explained it had been a difficult time for all the traders and everyone was delighted to be back. Some businesses have been frustrated about the length of time the repairs took, but Paul has remained positive.
He told the Herald, “Obviously, we all wish this hadn’t happened but it did and it couldn’t re-open again until it was safe.
“Clearly that is not a five minute job.”
Paul says there has now been an ‘renewed enthusiasm’ for Langney Shopping Centre.
He said, “No-one really thought about it before. It was just a shopping centre and they took it for granted.
“When it was closed everyone realised how much they missed it and they are all now so pleased to have it back.”
Paul and his wife Pauline say they have received many messages of support from well-wishers and some customers even waited for them to re-open.
Paul said, “We had a gentleman come in before Christmas 2012 and he said he was going to come back to us in January. Obviously he wasn’t able to do that but he waited all this time until we re-opened.”
Hulatts, like many other stores in the centre, has been refurbished before opening.