EXCITING plans to rejuvenate a rundown area have been unveiled.

Lewes District Council has revealed far-reaching plans for Newhaven town centre which include a 69-bed hotel, improvements to the shopping centre, 90 new homes for local people, a new car park and better leisure facilities.

Advanced talks are said to have taken place with a top-brand national hotel chain.

The hotel will cater for the holidaymakers and business travellers using the Newhaven Port gateway to the continent, people journeying to, and along, the South Coast, and by Newhaven’s business base.

The £38 million mixed use scheme is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the construction, retail and hotel sectors while generating an additional £100 million of inward investment into the economy.

The development area forms part of the Newhaven Enterprise Zone and follows the opening of the University Technical College in April.

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.

There would be 14,000sqft of retail and restaurant space including an anchor retail store of 10,000sqft and restaurants and bars.

The leisure centre would enjoy a significant expansion and the existing car park would be demolished and replaced with a car park with more than 300 spaces.

Councillor Andy Smith, leader of Lewes District council, welcomed the investment into Newhaven.

He said: “The port continues to be a magnet for the whole of Europe. 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. There will be new walkways, better signage and green landscaping to add colour and vibrancy.”