BUSINESS owners could win a free space at a shopping centre under a new initiative.

Grow At The Beacon is offering businesses and entrepreneurs the chance to nab a free lease at The Beacon shopping centre in Eastbourne.

The competition will enter its next stage at the end of the month, as the number of applicants will be whittled down and remaining participants will present their business to a panel of judges.

Bill Plumridge, centre manager at The Beacon, said: “The response we have had to our ‘Grow At The Beacon’ initiative has been phenomenal.

“We have had a number of high-quality applications come through to us over the last few weeks.

“Myself and the fund manager from Legal and General will be working through those concepts carefully and will select different businesses that we feel will bring something fresh, new and exciting to The Beacon and the local community.

“We’re looking forward to meeting candidates in person and making a decision about which ones we will be adding to our exciting portfolio at the centre.”