The countdown is on for The Beacon launch with five new stores set to open.
Shopfitting is being carried out on units in the new mall of the £85 million extension with owners Legal & General announcing opening dates for Schuh, New Look and Flying Tiger (Friday November 30) and Paperchase (Saturday December 1) with Jack Wills due to open early December. In addition, Premier League football club Brighton & Hove Albion will open a temporary shop in the extension from November 30 to December 23.
A two-day event will launch the full switchover from the Eastbourne Arndale Centre to The Beacon next Friday and Saturday (November 30 and December 1).
The event also marks the opening of the link-through from the existing centre to the new extension when shoppers will be able to walk through the new mall, that will be opened up next to River Island, and continue to where new stores H & M, Next and FatFace are already trading.
An eight-screen cinema and restaurants will open in spring 2019 when a formal opening of the extension will take place.
By November 30, all signage and social media channels will have been changed over from the Arndale Centre to The Beacon with a brand-new website due to launch the same day.
A promotional team will be in The Beacon giving out branded balloons, canvas bags, and branded treats and there will be entertainment from choir Concentus on Friday from 12.30pm.
Andrew Rice, the fund manager at Legal & General, said, “Eastbourne is really bucking the trend in the UK with this development. Of the new stores that have opened, including Wilko’s and Deichmann, there will be eight brand new names trading in the town for the first time - so far. We know local people have been waiting a long time for this and we are delighted to deliver this part of the extension, on schedule, before Christmas. We would like to thank everyone for their patience as work continues into 2019.
“It’s really exciting the new mall will be opening on November 30 and that everyone will be able to see how the future of shopping in the town centre is going to look for the first time.”
Eastbourne council leader David Tutt said, “For many years the council’s ambition was to see a high-class retail and leisure complex that would provide mass appeal, not only for local people, but also for visitors to Eastbourne from far and wide. The Beacon is the fulfilment of these plans and as council leader, I am delighted by what has been achieved .”
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said, “The opening of another five brand new shops, the linkway bringing together the extension and our established shopping centre, along with the formal changeover from the Arndale Centre to The Beacon, is a profound moment for our town. It is as clear a sign as possible at just how well we are doing, and how positively investors see the town’s future. And they’re right to do so. I am absolutely certain our wonderful new shopping centre will draw tens of thousands of new visitors to Eastbourne.”
The 170,000 sq ft extension is being funded by Legal & General and once completed will bring an additional 22 shops to Eastbourne plus an eight-screen cinema and restaurants to the town.