A NEWLY refurbished café has opened as part of a £1.2 million scheme to revamp a popular park.

The Boathouse, in Princes Park, Eastbourne, is the result of a complete refurbishment of the former café.

The project had seen a range of improvements, including the creation of a central plaza, pedestrian link to the seafront, new entrance and zebra crossing.

Funds were provided to the council through a grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

Councillor David Tutt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “I’m delighted The Boathouse is open for business and delivering a great service to local people and visitors in a modern, attractive building.

“It’s a real asset for the town and the homemade cakes are a big hit.

“With these enhancements we are making the very most of Princes Park which has consistently been awarded Green Flag status for several years for being among the best green spaces in the country.

“These new additions have made the park an even better place to visit and I hope many people enjoying coming here, as well and the new café, over the summer and for years to come.”

Helen Field, operations director at The Boathouse, said: “We are excited to be opening in Princes Park and have been bowled over by the support from the local community.

“The café is open between 8am and 6pm and we hope to extend both the menu and the opening hours over the coming weeks.

“On behalf of the management and staff we look forward to welcoming everyone at The Boathouse.”

This comes following a long delay after a deal with the University of Brighton fell through in February.

It was due to open in the spring with hospitality students from the University of Brighton running it.

The university wanted to defer taking over the cafe because it said it was unable to fully commit at the time.

But then the council revealed that it had arranged a new deal with JAZZCO Group (UK) Limited, which is based in Prideaux Road.

The deal is based on a 20-year lease and the council was keen it would be open for the summer.