A MAJOR face lift costing around £14 million is planned for the Crumbles Retail Park.
Improvements in shopping, entertainment, employment and transport are proposed for the park near Sovereign Harbour.
Its owner, The Prudential Assurance Company Limited, is planning the multi-million pound investment to revitalise the area and re-brand the Crumbles as Sovereign Central.
The proposals being put forward by Prudential’s subsidiary, PRUPIM, the real estate fund manager that is delivering the project, include the construction of a new state-of-the-art nine-screen cinema, with the existing old cinema building being converted back into retail units to provide additional space for new retailers.
The plans include improved parking and a bus link through the park connecting the south and north harbour.
The biggest changes will be to the area currently occupied by the Fitness First building.
Pedestrian access to the park will be through a new building that will house the restaurants and cafés on the ground floor and the new multiplex cinema on the upper levels.
Stephen Gwilliam from PRUPIM, the real estate fund manager delivering the project, said, “We have given a lot of thought to the role that the park plays in the Sovereign Harbour community.
“The park was originally developed as an out-of-town retail park, but subsequent residential development has significantly changed the character of the area.
“We feel that Sovereign Central is now a much more appropriate name and we believe that forthcoming proposals will help to develop the park in a way that reflects its location at the heart of the Sovereign Harbour community.”
The news has received a positive reaction.
Cllr Patrick Warner said, “I am very pleased to hear about Prudential’s exciting plans for the redevelopment of the Sovereign Harbour Retail Park and I think it will really help improve the retail park offer, complement the excellent Waterfront offer and give a welcome boost to the jobs market in the area.
“I have also asked that the developers prioritise the delivery of the long-awaited Sovereign Harbour Bus Gate which is proposed to run along behind the area and I am meeting with the local bus operator Stagecoach to discuss the improvements to bus services for my constituents that I know will become possible once the bus gate is open so it genuinely sounds like a win-win situation for Sovereign and Eastbourne alike.”
Proposals will be going to public consultation next month.
More information about the plans and the consultation process can be found at www.sovereigncentral.co.uk.