As customers snap up last minute Christmas gifts this weekend one facility enjoying the festive rush is Langney Shopping Centre.
The scene at the centre in Kingfisher Drive today is a far cry from this time last year when traders and the community were left high and dry after the roof collapsed during the night on December 20.
The damage led to the centre being closed for six months, hitting traders hard and forcing local shoppers – many of them elderly – to face the prospect of travelling further afield by bus or taxi.
But after repair work was carried out, a number of businesses began re-opening their doors in June, with others following suit shortly after.
Councillor Alan Shuttleworth said, “What a difference a year makes!
“This time last year was a really desperate one for all affected by the roof collapse at Langney Shopping Centre.
“During the first half of 2013 Langney people were frustrated at the length of time it took to get things moving again. This Christmas the centre is buzzing again.
“It is truly the hub of the Langney community.”
Since the re-opening plans to extend the eastern end of Langney Shopping Centre have been approved, which include creating nine new retail units.
David Brown, director, London and Associated Management Services, the managers of Langney Shopping Centre, said, “We know how important Langney Shopping Centre is to the local community and were pleased to see it reopen in July and to have marked the occasion with our family fun day.
“During the course of the year we were given permission to extend the eastern end of the shopping centre as part of our ongoing investment in the centre and in the run up to Christmas, there’s plenty going on to maintain the festive spirit.
“We would like to thank our centre manager, Barry Reece, for his tireless effort working with tenants and the local community over the past year. We hope everyone will take the opportunity to visit the Langney Shopping Centre in the run up to Christmas to support the many local businesses who are based there.”