A MUSICIAN is opening a new guitar store as part of a bid to boost a struggling town centre.

Councillor Dave Twaits is determined to see Newhaven back on the up again.

His new shop, Guitar Central, sells, buys and repairs guitars.

Mr Twaits was previously a band member of the Reform Club, founded by former Lewes MP Norman Baker.

He said: “I had a guitar shop in Seaford called Guitar Central ten years ago.

“I closed it because the landlord sold the premises and rent was becoming expensive.

“Then, the Mayor of Newhaven, Paul Boswell, had a spare space above his estate agents.

“A music shop used to be there so it makes sense to have another one in the same space.

“It is a specialist guitar shop. I sell acoustic, electric and bass guitars. I also sell strings, straps and leads.

“This shop is another opportunity to bring people back to Newhaven.

“The town centre was declining but now it’s improving.

“We have new shops coming in such as convenient stores, wedding planning shop, cafe and fabric shop.

“Almost every shop in Newhaven was empty which was really sad to see.

“The point I want to get across is this is a business opportunity to regenerate the town.

“It’s important for us to see the town thrive.”

Developers are working with Lewes District Council to regenerate the town with new shops and housing.

Two months ago, the council agreed to spend money drawing up a plan for investment proposals.

The scheme is expected to focus on three council-owned sites: Newhaven Square Shopping Centre, the Seahaven Swim and Fitness Centre and the Lower Place Car Park.

Mr Twaits said: “We want to show everyone what Newhaven has got to offer.

“I have got a couple of young people interested in doing work experience at the shop.

“It will help young people get some experience in the music industry.

“I played bass guitar on Norman’s first album, Always Tomorrow.

“I joined the band in the mid 1990s and left after the first album was released in 2013.

“I’ve been a band member of the Brass Monkeys for 20 years. I am a singer and guitarist.

“I also work as a health and safety advisor. Juggling council work, the shop and playing in a band is a challenge but I really enjoy what I do.”

The shop at 43 High Street will be officially opened on Saturday at 11am.

It is above Meeching estates agent. Mr Twaits says it will be a success story.