The Sidings has been acclaimed a "fantastic addition to the town" after the new café, bistro and community space made its summer debut on Newhaven waterfront.
The Sidings is in the area between the former UTC building and Railway Club and has welcomed hundreds of customers to its open-air seating area since opening in August. The Town Deal Board secured funding from the government and Lewes District Council via the community infrastructure levy to develop the Sidings, and all units are now fully occupied, including the new Active Travel Hub.
Fatih Endogan, owner of the Bistro, said: "When we launched the bistro our belief that people would visit a waterfront venue for good quality food and drink was proved 100% right. The support from customers has been fantastic and I'm certain this interest will continue to grow. I'd like to thank Lewes District Council for developing the Sidings and creating a great new attraction for Newhaven."
Plans are now in place to create a new, more permanent roof space that will give visitors the option of seeking out some shade on hot summer days or dodging an unexpected shower.
Councillor James MacCleary, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council and Newhaven town councillor, said: "The response from residents and visitors to Sidings has exceeded all expectations. It's proved a fantastic addition to the town. The good news about the Sidings is spreading far and wide and I'm certain visitors next year will welcome the improvements we continue to make, including the new cover for the seating area, which follows closely on from the Newhaven Gig Rowing Club's new clubhouse and the new Active Travel Hub which offers a free monthly bike clinic hosted by Dr Bike and SCDA."
A number of other regeneration projects will soon take shape in Newhaven as the town benefits from over £35 million in funding that has been secured by successful council bids.
Councillor MacCleary added: "We want to make sure the café is available all year round so we're putting a new retractable roof over the seating area as well as other improvements to make it usable during bad weather - we do live by the sea after all! To do that the café will need to shut for a few months over the winter. I can't wait for the café to reopen early next year and am sure it'll go from strength to strength."
The Sidings is the first of a series of landmark developments in Newhaven that will transform areas of the town, bringing new prosperity, commercial space, employment and lifestyle opportunities. There's never been a better time to be a Newhaven resident."
The Sidings will continue to offer some café services as events take place during the winter, but the main seating area will close while work is ongoing to install the new features at the venue. Sidings is expected to fully reopen in spring 2022.
Maria Caulfield MP said: "The Sidings has been a huge success for Newhaven and being the first project using government funding for regeneration of the town, it shows what can be done. I am looking forward to seeing the permanent roof installed so that it can be used all year round."