Three national retailers have given the thumbs-up to Eastbourne’s Hampden Retail Park as it prepares for a major £9m transformation next year (2019).
Coffee specialists Costa will be opening a drive-thru and carpet specialists Tapi will bring their own unique approach to the world of choosing, buying and fitting carpets.
At the same time, Staples are relocating from their current site, opposite Tesco, to the retail park. The store will be taking over the former Maplin unit.
The car parking area in the Lottbridge Drove park will be re-designed to improve access and a new road surface will be laid as part of the refurbishment. Many of the units will have a brand new face-lift to smarten up the outside appearance of the stores.
Council leader David Tutt said he was delighted that three new tenants had already signed up for the park. “This is a great show of support for the park and proves that the initial decision to buy the park was a sound investment. I am thrilled with the progress of this out-of-town centre and look forward to work getting underway.”
Some of the existing retailers are also planning interior refurbishment programmes to further enhance the customer experience. Landscaping will finish off the scheme, bringing an exciting new look and feel to the retail park.
The arrival of the stores will see the creation of around 30 jobs in the retail sector. The refurbishment will be carried out in a sympathetic manner to ensure all the stores remain open and that visiting customers are not affected.
The plans have been submitted to Eastbourne Borough Council and are due to go before the planning committee later this summer. If approved, work will start in January 2019 and last around 12 months.
Eastbourne Borough Council bought the retail park in 2016 as part of its commercial property portfolio to help offset government funding cuts. The bold development and refurbishment scheme will bring in more revenue for the council, boost the local economy and ensure its long-term future.
Tom Swords, Drive-Thru Acquisition Manager at Costa Coffee, said: “We work closely with planning departments across the country to open new stores for the benefit of their local communities, creating new jobs and providing attractive and popular social meeting places. Being a part of this exciting new development at Hampden Retail Park means we’re able to bring great handcrafted Costa Coffee to such a prominent location through our Drive-Thru store concept and create up to 20 new full time jobs.”
Eastbourne & District Chamber of Commerce said the improvements to the out of town retail park would complement the transformation of the town centre by Legal & General.
Chief executive Christina Ewbank said: “Our town is undergoing its largest programme of improvements and investment for over a century, with nearly £230m of developments either underway or in the planning stages. The town centre will look stunning and will attract thousands of new visitors to the town. And with the excellent changes now planned for the Hampden Retail Park, shoppers and visitors will be spoilt for choice,” she said.
“Eastbourne continues to grow in status on a near-monthly basis.”
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