Major step forward for £70m makeover

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The ambitious £70 million facelift for Eastbourne’s Arndale Centre took a step forward this week with the news that deals with businesses whose properties will be knocked down to make way for it are being struck.

Several businesses from the former Powerplay store outside the Arndale Centre right the way along to the Gildredge Pub will be demolished as part of the extension to the centre. Some businesses behind those shops off Ashford Road will also be knocked down as the development will extend from where the Gildredge Pub is now right up to the delivery ramp to the Arndale Centre.

Planning permission has been given for the redevelopment which will see an extra 22 shops as well as more car parking spaces and work is expected to start early next year.

Officials from Legal and General, which is behind the major redevelopment, have been locked in talks with both the shops and private residential homes above them to pave the way for them to move out. Some could be offered tenancies inside the new look centre.

Simon Russian, head of retail development at Legal & General Property, said, “Discussions have been held already with a number of businesses and owners in Terminus Road that are likely to be affected by the Arndale Centre extension. We will do everything we can to make sure these progress as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

“We continue to make significant progress with the new development and expect to be able to announce in the next few months the signing of key anchor tenants who have committed to the Arndale extension.

“The plan is still for the initial work to start during 2014, with completion in 2016, although it is likely that an element of the new scheme anchor fronting Terminus Road will open early in 2015.

“We are expecting this to dovetail with completion of the part pedestrianisation works to Terminus Road which will be carried out by the county council.

“This £70 million extension will rejuvenate Eastbourne town centre and have a much-needed knock-on economic effect.“