Heatwave hands business boost to Worthing town centre

This week's heatwave has given Worthing's businesses a boost as visitors flock to the seaside for a paddle and a shop.

An aerial view of Worthing town centre. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-160818-140517001
An aerial view of Worthing town centre. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-160818-140517001

People are being drawn out into the sunshine as Worthing town centre has enjoyed a five per cent increase in footfall, according to town centre manager Sharon Clarke.

“We felt that as a seaside town we should be more welcoming so we’ve worked hard to improve the ambience with professional entertainers and make it more colourful by painting the bus shelters and planting flowers,” she said.

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“Now what’s happening is people are coming from inland to the coast, where it’s a bit cooler.”

The temperature this week has been ideal for businesses, according to Mrs Clarke, as any hotter and people will avoid going into shops and prefer to bask in the sunshine or cool off in the sea.

“As soon as it gets to around 27 degrees, people tend to stay out of the shops and stick to the sea front,” she said.

“But this week we’ve been at about 24 degrees, compared to 29 in London, so people are a lot happier to walk around the town centre and visit the shops and cafés.”

This year the sea front’s usual concessions of kitesurfing, watersports classes and food and drink stands are joined by new additions like the Wheelie Good Fun four-wheeled pedal bikes.

Plenty of events are also in the pipeline, beginning this weekend with a French Market where French traders bring authentic cuisine over the Channel and National Armed Forces Weekend with stalls, displays and entertainment in honour of the armed forces and their families.

With plenty to see and do in Worthing over the summer, the only thing left is to douse yourself in sun cream, get a sun hat on and hope the sun keeps shining.