Eastbourne vows to be the UKs most desirable destination within 5 years


A Sussex coastal town has kicked off the New Year vowing to be one of the UK’s most desirable destinations within the next five years. 

How are we doing so far? Check out these “Killer Facts” about Eastbourne.

A first-rate international standard conference facility, beautifully restored theatres and a major upgrade of world-class tennis facilities at Devonshire Park will combine with Eastbourne’s jewel in the crown – a fantastic new shopping centre extension – to make the town the “go-to” venue for shopping, tourism and business. 

Eastbourne unLtd Chamber of Commerce President Tim Cobb said that the town was experiencing nothing short of a tourism and retail revolution that would see the complete regeneration of the town.

 “Eastbourne has always punched above its weight to compete for the tourism and retail pound,” Tim said. “But now, there is a regeneration revolution that is sweeping through the town.” 

Work on the much-anticipated £85 million Eastbourne Arndale extension moves a step closer this month (January), with preparatory roadworks to divert services and create access to and from the construction site.

The next phase will be the demolition of buildings west of the Centre along Terminus Road to flatten area, ready for the building programme. 

The new 170,000 sq ft scheme will bring an additional 22 new retail units, around 300 extra car parking spaces, seven restaurants and a nine-screen cinema to Eastbourne. 

“National retailers have not always seen the benefits of trading in the town, but now things are changing fast,” Tim said. “Shoppers will soon be seeing the likes of Fat Face, Carluccio’s, Nando’s and Wagamama opening up in the town. This is jaw-dropping news and will not only encourage Eastbourne residents to shop local, it will entice visitors from our neighbouring towns and cities.”

Local businesses also see the benefit, with a campaign for Eastbourne to establish itself as a Business Improvement District in the town centre which is expected to unlock £1.5M over 5 years. 

Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council David Tutt said: “This Arndale extension is fantastic news for the future of our town.  The development of our town centre has been a long held ambition. We will be seeing new shops, restaurants and a multiplex cinema.  When linked to the Devonshire Park project and business park at Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne is undergoing a transformation unparalleled in decades.”

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell said: “This redevelopment will be a massive boost to Eastbourne’s economy. We can now look forward to a transformed Arndale shopping centre – one that will be a draw for visitors and a local amenity for residents.”

Meanwhile, the £44million redevelopment of Devonshire Park is taking shape. When complete, the ambitious and high profile project will establish Devonshire Park as a premier conference and cultural destination and deliver major improvements to the international tennis facilities.

“The Congress Theatre, Winter Garden and Devonshire Park Theatre are being returned to their former glory as well as benefiting from improvements they need and deserve,” Chamber President Tim Cobb said. “Add to the equation a £24.5 million new swimming pool and leisure complex, which has just had the green light, and you can see that Eastbourne is really going places.”