David Joy, chief executive of London and Continental Railways (LCR), says the borough has a great future with an economic strategy which will bring new residents, industry and traders into the town centre.
“Worthing is very well placed to make the most of the opportunities that exist in the town,” said David in an interview in the latest edition of BuildingAW magazine.
“Its position on the south coast with the great benefit of the sea and the Downs behind is a real asset.”
LCR has partnered with Worthing Borough Council to bring forward plans for nearly 200 homes, commercial space and two extra cinema screens for the Connaught Theatre in Union Place.
The council bought the site last year after being frustrated by other owners’ failure to bring forward schemes.
Last April the council entered into a ‘land-pooling’ agreement with LCR after selling the small, open-air car park in High Street to the company.
Through that agreement LCR is paying for works in drawing up proposals and securing planning permission, while the council retains majority ownership of the site. David praised the major projects team at the council for helping to bring LCR on board.
He said: “This is a council that wants to get the best for its residents. It recognises that in order to do that it needs to change and adapt to the new pressures from economic challenges, disruptive approaches and a changing population.”
Despite fears that Union Place, the site of Worthing’s former police station, would remain derelict for years, David is confident of progress.
“This will be an exciting new piece of the town centre based on a mix of uses, creating and supporting the existing cultural and commercial activities of Worthing town centre,” he said.