Contractors on site for £85m retail and leisure scheme in Eastbourne

A £85m extension to The Beacon in Eastbourne which will deliver an additional 175,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, has started on site.  Clarkebond has provided structural, civil and ground engineering design for the whole redevelopment scheme.

The new extension, which includes the demolition of some existing buildings to the west of the Centre, will comprise 22 new shops arranged over 2 floors, a nine-screen state-of-the-art cinema, seven new restaurants and improved access for pedestrians and public transport.  An additional 300 car parking spaces will be provided through the construction of two new decks of car parking above the existing multi-storey car park.

The design of the car park was an early consideration in the development process. Clarkebond engaged with the LGIM to explore the opportunity for the expansion of additional 2 levels of car parking facilities within the curtilage of the development site over an existing 3 storeys car park and two levels of retail units under.  A detailed design back check analysis of the structure combining a review of archive structural information, site exploratory works and material testing was carried out.

LGIM’s brief excluded access to the retail areas beneath the car park other than for investigation works. If strengthening works were found necessary within these areas, then the car park scheme could not proceed. The scheme could not impact on the tenant’s plant rooms sited on the upper deck of the car park and the existing lifts had to extend to serve the new upper car park decks. These challenges required detailed consideration of structural design solutions that best facilitated these requirements. These studies/investigations took place in advance of detailed design owing to their criticality to the scheme. On the lower car park decks the main consideration was strengthening the columns to facilitate the additional vertical load and horizontal wind loading. Whilst  these works were being carried out the car park had to remain operational as the shopping centre was to continue trading. Numerous design and buildability options had to be explored. 

Prior to the signing of the building contract at the end of 2016, Clarkebond had also proactively engaged with the local authority planner and Southern Water Authority over several months to ensure the principle drainage strategy was approved at an early stage of the building programme.  As a result of this early work, the review with the third parties/ stakeholders was successfully completed within the first week of contract award, thereby enabling the discharge of planning conditions in relation to the drainage works which will further de-risk the project at the earliest opportunities.

"Clarkebond’s track record of regenerating towns and cities across the UK and depth of experience in creating unique retail and leisure destinations has been invaluable in this project,” states Clarkebond project director, Theodore Tai."

A flagship project for owners LGIM Real Estates, the Beacon extension is expected to create 700 full time jobs, to provide a significant boost to the local economy and is seen as an important catalyst for Eastbourne’s wider regeneration.

Contractor Kier, has been selected to build the scheme with completion expected in autumn 2018.

'Personally, and on behalf of L&G, many thanks to everyone involved and your considerate efforts, particularly over the last couple of weeks.  I think we have achieved a fantastic amount working together as a Project Team, which bodes well as we move into the delivery phase of this exciting project.’.   Neil Crawford, Head of Retail & Leisure Development - Legal & General Property.

Architect: TP Bennet
Contractor: Kier
M&E – Hoare Lee