Multi-million pound town centre transformation announced for Newhaven

The town centre is to welcome a top UK hotel chain and new shops.

Lewes District Council has revealed far reaching plans for Newhaven town centre, including a new 69-bed hotel, major improvements and new retailers for the shopping centre, 90 new homes for local people, a new car park and extended and enhanced leisure facilities.

Advanced talks are taking place with a top-brand national hotel chain. The hotel will cater for the annual holidaymakers and business travellers using the Newhaven Port gateway to the continent, people journeying to, and along, the south coast, and by Newhaven’s strong existing and growing business base.

The £38m mixed use scheme is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the construction, retail and hotel sectors, whilst generating an additional £100m of inward investment into the local economy. The development area forms part of the Newhaven Enterprise Zone (NEZ), and follows the opening of the University Technical College in April 2017.

 The town centre regeneration, although still in the planning stage, would see a comprehensive redevelopment of the town centre from Seahaven Swim and Fitness Centre through to Dacre Road multi-storey car park. LDC is being advised on the project by CCD Properties Ltd.

There would be 14,000sq.ft. of retail and restaurant space, including an anchor retail store of 10,000sq.ft. and an increased food and drink offer. The leisure centre would enjoy a significant expansion and the existing car park would be demolished and replaced with a well-designed and well-lit car park with more than 300 spaces.

Leader of Lewes District council, Cllr Andy Smith, welcomed the investment into Newhaven and said it was an important step in the town’s regeneration.

“The port continues to be a magnet for the whole of Europe,” Cllr Smith explained. “The NEZ is up and running and we have our new college, so it is now time to ensure we have the right mix of retail, leisure and housing to support it.

“Our regeneration plans will include a hotel, shops, car parking, office accommodation and flats in the town centre,” he continued. “There will be new walkways, better signage and green landscaping to add colour and vibrancy to the centre.”

Cllr Bill Giles, Cabinet Portfolio Member for Finance and who also represents a Newhaven Ward at Lewes District Council, welcomed the regeneration programme and paid tribute to the strong relationship with Newhaven Town Council. He said: “We have a shared vision to revitalise the town centre and encourage new businesses to relocate here. We need to work in partnership to implement this bold scheme as swiftly as possible.”

 Newhaven Mayor June Dyer hailed the regeneration investment as a turning point for the town.

She said: “I am really pleased that an area in the town centre is going to be regenerated and the proposed hotel will bring much-needed jobs and visitors to our town.  This really feels like a turning point in Newhaven’s fortunes.”

Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “These exciting plans for the town centre redevelopment are a vital component of the wider regeneration of the town and of the success of the Newhaven Enterprise Zone. Along with the business rates reductions offered in the Enterprise Zone, a rejuvenated town centre will give businesses even more reason to relocate to the town, bringing new job opportunities for local residents and economic growth to the area”.

A public exhibition of the plans will take place in February/March 2018.