IT HAS been a great sadness to see the gradual decline of the town centre shopping facilities including the Arndale Centre as it has fallen behind the standards expected and needed by both residents and visitors to such a wonderful and special town.
The £70m extension of the centre is not just a hugely welcome development, it is absolutely vital to the future of Eastbourne.
It will bring us up to be a match for anywhere in the UK. It will also help to ensure the tourism, so crucial to the health and prosperity of Eastbourne, today and in the future, is safeguarded and enhanced for visitors and residents alike. It truly merits the commitment to our future, which the development represents and we should all wholeheartedly support it.
It can also make Eastbourne a town of choice to move to on the south coast, thereby helping to attract new residents.
This in turn will attract new businesses, which will increase employment opportunities and the case for improvements to the rail and road links to the town.
However, please let us drop the Arndale name and take this chance to give the new shopping centre a fresh and exciting name, brand and image, which would act as an additional attraction to the town. We should not under estimate the potential (positive or negative) of a name. Let’s ensure that we don’t miss the hugely important opportunity to rebrand the centre.