THE chief executive of a blue-chip development company says Worthing is ideally placed to attract new investors and young families.

David Joy, chief executive of London and Continental Railways (LCR), believes the borough has a great future.

He said: “Worthing is very well placed to make the most of the opportunities that exist in the town.

“Its position on the South Coast with the great benefit of the sea and the Downs behind is a real asset.”

LCR is working with Worthing Borough Council to bring forward plans for nearly 200 homes, commercial space and two extra cinema screens for the Connaught Theatre at Union Place.

The council bought the site, next to the Worthing Theatres complex last year after becoming frustrated by the failure of other owners to bring forward schemes.

A decision to enter into an agreement with LCR was made last April.

It involved the current small open-air car park in High Street being sold to the company and allowed it to enter a “land-pooling agreement” with the council.

Through that agreement, LCR is paying for works in drawing up proposals and securing planning permission, while the council retains majority ownership of the site.

Mr Joy said of Union Place: “This will be an exciting new piece of the town centre based on a mix of uses, creating and supporting the existing cultural and commercial activities of Worthing town centre.

“We are aiming to bring together a development that would not have taken place if left purely to the private sector, a development that happens as soon as possible with a range of uses that complement the existing town centre.”