Puzzled residents were left scratching their heads after the change of a building name steeped in local history.

The Ropetackle building in Shoreham, which contains flats, offices and the Ropetackle Arts Centre, has had its vertical signage changed from ‘Ropetackle’ to ‘Basepoint’.

The building was bought by business space provider Basepoint in 2012 but it only took to changing the name on its north and east facades last weekend.

When The Argus visited the arts centre, staff seemed equally taken by surprise after turning up one day to find the Ropetackle sign being removed.

Bosses at Basepoint have described it as “purely a name change” – but the Ropetackle name dates back to 1587, linked with rope and sail making in the town, and is favoured by Shoreham residents.

Danny Joy of Adur Drive, Shoreham, said the Ropetackle name feels more suited to Shoreham.

Mr Joy, who has lived in the town for three years, said: “I think it is a bit daft changing the name.

“Ropetackle seems local to Shoreham; Basepoint sounds like a London type of name.”

Shelley Maidlow, 29, who lives in Old Shoreham Road in Shoreham, near the venue, agreed.

She said: “Ropetackle - that is how it is referred to. It doesn’t make any difference to me if it is changed but it seems a shame for the area.”

Richard Harmes, 81, of Fowey Close in Shoreham, who has lived in the town since 1968, added: “I’m not quite sure what Basepoint means.”

Alan Squires, who owns Treadrite, a repair shop on Shoreham High Street overlooking the building, asked: “Everybody knows it as Ropetackle. Why change the identity?”

Mark Philips, who works at the Ropetackle Arts Centre, said: “We turned up one day and they were taking it down. We weren’t told anything about it. It is disappointing.

“It is quite annoying but Basepoint owns the building.

“We are not changing. We are still the Ropetackle and we will get our own signage made using the window space we have.”

Karen Osborne, Basepoint’s regional manager, said: “The area is called Ropetackle but the building’s only been there six years. It’s purely a name change.

“The building is called the Basepoint Business Centre. The new signs reflect that.”

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