AN ambitious plan to pump millions of pounds into a seaside resort has been unveiled.

The £8.5m investment includes improved housing, transforming buildings, spruced up public spaces and refurbished public toilets in Worthing.

Bringing public car parks up to scratch as well as buying more accommodation to ease a rising demand are also on the agenda over the next three years.

Borough councillors have been warned that the financial climate remains tough for local authorities.

But they have still backed a range of investments.

Cllr Elizabeth Sparkes said: “We are pleased to set out these plans over the next three years, which will deliver investment across Worthing and demonstrate our commitment to our communities.

“In the current financial climate, it is never easy to find the resources to invest but we have a sensible plan here that will deliver real benefits across a range of services for the people of this borough.”

A full refurbishment of Buckingham Road and High Street multi-storey car parks costing £5m is planned.

Playgrounds across Worthing will also receive an upgrade with Palatine Park Play Area, Brooklands Pleasure Park and Durrington Recreation Ground all being improved.

Worthing town centre will benefit from works to enhance public spaces and improve facilities.

Public toilets will also be brought up to a good standard and on the hit list will be toilets in Marine Gardens, Sea Lane Cafe Car Park, the Lido and the Pier.

Seafront locations will be revived with planting and landscaping schemes for Steyne Gardens and Beach House Grounds.

A new water supply system to the Splash Pad attraction will be funded as will the replacement of the timber decking on Worthing Pier.

The council is looking to buy temporary accommodation and bring empty properties back into use.

The council says this will help address the rising cost of temporary and emergency accommodation in the private sector.

Grants will also be offered to registered social landlords to help improve the supply of affordable housing.

A new stage lighting and sound proofing system is to be installed at the Pavilion Theatre and a new ramp for people with disabilities built.

Fitness equipment will be introduced at Lyons Farm and Northbrook Recreation Ground, and the tennis courts at Field Place will be reconstructed.

The capital investment programme is set on a two year basis.