First ground was dug today (Monday, January 10), as part of a £3.5 million project to regenerate the town centre.
The project comprises the first two phases of the £6 million, five phase Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm Improvements and covers the pedestrianised high street. This includes Duke Street, St Martin’s Lane and Clifton Road, Beach Road, and a stretch of East Street.
This work is expected to be completed by December 2022.
“This money is levelling up in action and will see a real and direct benefit to Littlehampton as people will come and invest in our town.
“This is part of a range of measures — including the community wardens and £2,000 shopfront grants — all designed to lift our town up.
“We received the bulk of this money from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund to make Littlehampton an even better place to live, work and visit. This shows that the Government cares about Littlehampton’s future and prosperity, as we see the benefit from the Levelling Up agenda.
“I look forward to seeing the works finish, and I will keep fighting for additional money to support our towns in Arun.”
A ceremony was held to mark the event this morning. MPs Nick Gibb and Andrew Griffith joined with Arun District Council leader Shaun Gunner, deputy leader Jacky Pendleton and the mayor of Littlehampton, Michelle Molloy. Also in attendance were contractors Edburton, and Chair of Littlehampton Traders Partnership, Celia Thomson-Hitchcock.
Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP, Mr Gibb, said he is pleased that work is underway ‘to deliver long-term improvements that our area deserves’.
He added: “It was good to be able to mark the launch of the multi-million pound regeneration project, helping to keep and improve Littlehampton’s town centre as an attractive place to shop and as a destination for tourists.”
The district council said the works are designed to make the town centre a ‘more attractive and welcoming place’.
As part of the multi-million pound project in Littlehampton, road layouts will be changed to; give pedestrians priority; install higher quality pavements and road surfaces; plant new trees; provide new seating and street furniture and make it easier for shoppers and visitors to find their way around the town centre on foot. Click here to read more
Mr Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs, said: “It was a pleasure to join councillor Shaun Gunner and his colleagues to launch the work on Littlehampton High Street, delivering regeneration for the residents of Arun as part of the wider ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.
“I’m pleased that under new leadership the council is getting on with the priorities of local residents.”
The project is part of a wider scheme of works across the district which will revitalise public facilities in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis available to residents and tourists.
The renovations will include new exhibition spaces and seafront facilities in Bognor Regis in addition to redeveloped car parks, play areas and lightning improvements in Littlehampton.
Funding for the first two phases is from the UK Government’s Coastal Communities Fund (£2.45M), Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership Local Growth Fund (£564,000) and £200,000 from both Arun District Council and Littlehampton Town Council.
Arun District Council were also successful in a bid for funding £19.4 million from the Levelling Up Fund, with the MPs’ support, at the Government’s latest spending review in October last year. This will be used for schemes to improve Littlehampton seafront and Bognor Regis’ Alexandra Theatre.
The district council said further funding will be sought to complete all phases of the project.
A spokesperson added: “The project was launched early in the new year in order not to disrupt Christmas trade. All businesses will remain open, and traders will be kept fully informed with the progression of the work.
“Whilst the work is being done a section of St Martins car park will be closed as it will be used as the contractor’s main compound. Alternative parking is available at Manor House, Anchor Springs, and Surrey Street car parks.
“Littlehampton’s Friday Market will continue to operate but its location may change weekly. Advanced notice will be given for the temporary relocations.”