WORK on a multi-million pound project to demolish a pub and build flats has begun.

Roffey Homes has started work at The Sussex Cricketer in Eaton Road, Hove, next to the county cricket ground.

The historic pub had been a popular haunt for sports fans over many years.

It is to be replaced by 37 flats at the site, which will become the Tate Residences.

The developer says the new building will be a “beautifully crafted collection” of one, two and three bedroom apartments, and “exceptional” three and four bedroom penthouses.

The building at the south west corner of the cricket ground will have a bar and restaurant with its own sun terrace.

There will also be commercial space and parking at the site and the building will become an “eco-friendly landmark”.

In January last orders were called for the final time at The Sussex Cricketer, which had been run by Ember Inns.

Previously, former spinner and BBC pundit Phil Tuffnell chose the pub for a big makeover after it won a nationwide competition.

Pubs with cricket-related names were invited to enter, stating why they deserved to win.

Entries flooded in from across the UK but “Tuffers” picked out the Sussex

Cricketer as the worthy winner.

It was given big new TV screens as part of the luxury makeover.

Now the pub and buildings behind have been boarded up, and construction work is under way.

The master plan for the site could take as long as seven years to complete.

The old Tate Gates will be reinstalled at the cricket ground’s entrance alongside a new clock tower.

In 2019 Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew told The Argus that the £20 million scheme would boost the coffers and secure cricket at the site.

Matches have been played at Eaton Road since 1872 and Mr Andrew hopes the redevelopment will secure the club’s future for the next 150 years.

He said: “Our facilities can be improved and there are many aspects which would make them more efficient and financially effective, allowing us to offer a better range of events and activities at the ground and supporting our community work across the county.

“Our phase one redevelopment of the south west of the ground will provide us with the funds necessary to invest in the further ground improvements we need to ensure our future here in the heart of Hove.

“We have been here nearly 150 years and hope to remain here for another 150.”