Ribbon cutting celebration for Littlehampton town centre’s multi-million-pound regeneration scheme

25 October 2023
High Street Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - Councillors and traders standing in the precinct

A ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday marked the completion of three phases in Littlehampton town centre’s multi-million-pound regeneration scheme.

Earlier improvement phases in East Street/Beach Road and High Street, with eye-catching pavement in a uniform style, now flow through to the town’s railway station in Terminus Road for a sense of greater connectivity.

Other enhancements in the Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm Improvement Scheme include seating, planters and trees, cycle stands, improved maps and signage. Just outside the railway station is a new, double-stack cycle shelter and a widened footway – both to encourage active/sustainable travel options. For those arriving by train and heading into town, there are clearer crossing points to make it even more accessible.

Cllr Steve Waight, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Support Services and Economic Development, joined other dignitaries at the celebrations and ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday. He said: “The Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm Improvement Scheme is a triumph for partnership working between Arun District Council, Littlehampton Town Council, West Sussex County Council and contractors.

“The whole aim was to make Littlehampton town centre a more attractive place to visit, to shop in and enjoy, for both residents and visitors: the results, with the greater sense of connectivity for the town centre, are a credit to everyone involved.

“Boosting the town centre is a priority in the regeneration of the West Sussex coastal economy and the public realm improvement project aligns with one of the priorities in Our Council Plan because a sustainable and prosperous economy is crucial for the future wellbeing of the county.”

The earlier phases in Beach Road/East Street and High Street cost around £3.8million, which included government grant funding from Coastal Communities Fund, and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund and contributions from both Arun District Council and Littlehampton Town Council. The County Council provided £1.25million for the Terminus Road phase.

Cllr Roger Nash, Chair of the Economy Committee at Arun District Council, said: “The results of this joint project are fantastic. The new paving makes the town centre look completely rejuvenated, and the additional features like the planting, benches and new bins make the area look much more inviting.

“We are very grateful to all the traders who were so patient while the work was being done. We know that shopping habits have changed and that shoppers don’t frequent stores like they once did, but we will continue to promote our town centres and all our independent shops as they have so much to offer. Projects like this help to boost the wider economy and the improved connectivity will hopefully increase footfall into the town centre.”

Anthony Middleton, Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership’s Chief Executive, said: “Coast to Capital has been very proud to have provided funding support to this project, which will leave a lasting legacy for the town. The councils have shown the foresight and huge commitment to improving the town centre’s public realm and we congratulate them on achieving such a brilliant result.”

Saturday’s celebrations were organised by the Town Council and included children’s entertainment and art workshops, all free of charge for families to enjoy. Unfortunately, some outdoor activities and performances were cancelled due to the forecast bad weather, but the majority still took place indoors.

Speaking about the event, Chair of the Town Council’s Finance and Policy Committee, Councillor Alan Butcher, said: “Despite the inclement weather we were able to run an amended programme with activities being run at the Manor House. The feedback was very positive, and people appreciated the opportunity to have joined in.”

The event included a prize draw for a hamper of goodies, kindly donated by local businesses.