The renewal of Railway Quay in Newhaven is set to go-ahead after the Town Deal Board secured £500,000 in government funding.
The funding will transform the area between the former UTC building and the Railway Club into a focal point and gateway to the town centre with a new café, visitor information and active travel hubs that may include cycle hire facilities.
Lightweight modular units in the style of shipping containers will be used to create the new facilities that will be open for Easter 2021.
On Friday (Sept 25), local businesses and entrepreneurs attended an online briefing about the project to find out how they can get involved.
Leader of Lewes District Council, Cllr James MacCleary, said: "As a resident of the town I am delighted that, working with our partners, we have secured this funding for our community. This project at Railway Quay will be a game changer for Newhaven within a very short space of time. We've invited local business people to put forward their ideas for operating the site.
"For years our town has been sold grand plans that never go anywhere. I am focussed on making use of what our town has already rather than drawing up endless masterplans and visions. The District Council has bids in to government for bringing vacant town centre buildings back into use and are engaged in a major bid for funding through the Towns Fund.
"This is a really exciting project for Newhaven as we look forward to it celebrating our waterside location, strong transport links and our heritage. I'm looking forward to taking my kids down there for a drink by the river next summer."
Railway Quay has a long industrial history and was purchased by Lewes District Council through Local Growth Funding in 2017. It is one of the eight sites that make up the Newhaven Enterprise Zone which is driving quality, inclusive and sustainable economic growth within the town.
The government grant is the first funding secured through the Towns Fund, with the Newhaven Town Deal Board, which is made up of representatives from Lewes District Council, Newhaven Town Council, Newhaven Enterprise Zone, Maria Caulfield MP, East Sussex County Council and local businesses and stakeholders, preparing a town investment plan for up to £25 million of further capital investment.