Transformed Worthing town centre public space to be officially unveiled

A transformed street in the heart of Worthing town centre will be officially unveiled at a celebration event later this week.

Portland Road will be unveiled on Friday (August 5) as a vibrant and welcoming public space to encourage people to visit, with comfortable seating areas, improved lighting, additional cycle racks and landscape planting.

The development has been managed by Worthing Borough Council but funded by West Sussex County Council and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. Project Centre designed and led the project scheme, with the build by local contractor Landbuild Ltd.

Mayor of Worthing Henna Chowdhury will mark the official opening at 12.30pm on Friday, ahead of a host of activities throughout the day.

New look Portland Road in Worthing town centre

There will then be live music and drinks at Portland Road bars. Moes Coffee Bar will be opening late with cocktails, while The Fat Greek Taverna is offering a free celebration drink with the purchase of any main course.

Local businesses will be running competitions, including Dice Worthing with a variety of games, while the HISBE Food supermarket is offering a ten per cent discount for customers and a 20 per cent discount for independent businesses. Montague Gallery will be featuring al fresco interactive artist demonstrations and a discount on purchases over £20.

Cllr Chowdhury said: “The new-look Portland Road is the result of a huge amount of hard work to make it a lively and welcoming area in the town centre for the benefit of everyone - whether they are business owners, shoppers, residents or visitors.”

Local businesses are also planning a ‘Sundowners Portland Party’ at the end of September to further celebrate the new scheme and welcome visitors to Worthing’s newest destination.

New look Portland Road in Worthing town centre

Steve Waight, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for support services and economic development, said: “These are exciting times for Worthing town centre and it’s great to see the conclusion of this important public realm scheme: it looks superb and represents a significant investment in the town’s future, both for local businesses to benefit as they recover from the pandemic and for the public to enjoy a renewed and welcoming quarter in Worthing.

“The Portland Road scheme has been delivered as part of the Worthing Growth Deal partnership between the county council and borough council.

“The deal is a joint partnership programme of regeneration to bolster local economic growth and includes rejuvenating public spaces in Worthing. This includes the recently-completed Montague Place temporary scheme - with the permanent, new look to be developed with residents and traders ­- and the Railway Approach scheme, where preparations are underway.”

Kevin Jenkins, leader of the Worthing Conservative group, added: “This scheme was started in the planning stages some four years ago after a public consultation that identified the type of improvements people would like to see in the town and that Portland Road was a well trodden route into town centre.

"The quality of work and materials were carefully planned to ensure that the finished product would provide a lasting benefit and act as an exemplar for the future works planned for Montague Place and the rest of the town centre.”

He said they would now be looking to the Labour administration to continue this work as previously pledged with WSCC across the rest of the town centre.