TWO TEENAGERS have been charged with starting the fire at the Crumbles last year.
The two boys, who are both 17 and cannot be named for legal reasons, were questioned after the blaze within the retail park and then released on police bail.
They returned to the police station this week and were charged with arson. The boys, who live in Eastbourne, cannot be named as they are under 18 and will appear in the juvenile court. The fire on Saturday December 11 broke out at the back of Boots and spread inside to the store.
More than 80 firefighters were called in to tackle the fire and shoppers and staff within the retail park were evacuated from shops.
The blaze caused millions of pounds worth of damage to Boots and neighbouring shops Next, Matalan and Sports Direct. ASDA was also forced to close temporarily. The affected stores were closed for weeks in the run up to the busy Christmas period, damaged stock was thrown away and Boots had to be demolished and completely rebuilt. The other three stores underwent major facelifts.
The two teenagers will appear before Eastbourne Youth Court on Tuesday July 19 and the case will be heard at the crown court.