A TOWN centre has been given a further multi-million pound cash boost to turn its fortunes around.

Newhaven town centre was successful in a bid to the Government and secured new funds.

It comes amid an uncertain future for small high streets across Sussex during the coronavirus pandemic.

Major retailers remain closed due to the third lockdown in less than a year.

But Lewes District Council, which oversees Newhaven, has been given more than £5 million to kick start the recovery effort.

It is part of government funds to renew the country’s high streets.

The Argus:

Council leader James MacCleary, who himself represents a ward in Newhaven, said the money will “create momentum” to continue regeneration plans.

But the Liberal Democrat councillor also said he believed Newhaven should have been granted a full £7.2 million fund that it had bid for.

He said: “I’m obviously pleased that the town where I live is set to receive this funding, it will allow us to kickstart some really important change in the town and create yet more momentum behind the longer-term regeneration that is now well underway.

“However, I am firmly of the belief that our superb bid to the government deserved the full £7.2m we were asking for, nothing less.

“Clearly, the decision makers in Westminster thought differently and I will read with great interest the reasons that they felt our town wasn’t worth the full amount.”

The Argus:

The High Street in Newhaven is currently home to retailers such as Boots and Poundstretcher.

It also boasts independent cafes, shops, opticians, and is home to Newhaven library.

The Re-imagining Newhaven bid was part of the latest effort by the council to boost the town.

The council bid has not been the only measure to improve the town. In January 2020 The Argus reported on Harvey’s Brewery plans to restore the historic pub The Bridge Inn at the eastern end of the High Street.

Meanwhile in 2019 Newhaven resident Guy Stevens led an extraordinary fundraising campaign for his town to put in a memorial bench for the “godfather of gangsta rap” Eazy E, who died in 1995.

The engraved bench was installed at Denton Island after Mr Stevens raised £2,000 and won support of 36 fans in the town.

Meanwhile Lewes District Council previously made moves to designate the town as an Enterprise Zone in 2017, when the former Conservative administration made a bid for up to £25 million of funds from the emerging towns fund.

Cllr MacCleary added: “This has been a long process and it’s important to say that the initial bid was submitted by the previous administration at the council so it’s important to reflect that this is an achievement for the District Council as a whole.

“A great deal of work has been undertaken to reach this point and now more hard work begins as we accelerate the preparatory steps needed in advance of spades in the ground.”