The countdown is on for Eastbourne’s Arndale Centre’s official switchover to The Beacon.

A two-day event this week (November 30 – December 1) will launch the name change.

The shopping centre has announced five shops will be opening in the new mall of the £85 million extension.

They include Schuh, Flying Tiger and Paperchase with Jack Wills due to open early December.

In addition, Brighton & Hove Albion will open a temporary shop in the extension from November 30 to December 23.

The event also marks the opening of the link through from the existing centre to the new extension.

Today (Friday, 30) all signage and social media channels will have changed over from the Arndale Centre to The Beacon, according to the centre.

Andrew Rice, Fund Manager at Legal & General, said:

“Eastbourne is really bucking the trend in the UK with this development.

“Of the new stores that have opened, including Wilko’s and Deichmann, there will be eight brand new names trading in the town for the first time – so far!

“We know local people have been waiting a long time for this and we are delighted to deliver this part of the extension, on schedule, before Christmas.”

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said:

“The opening of another five brand new shops, the linkway bringing together the extension and our established shopping centre.

“Along with the formal changeover from the Arndale Centre to The Beacon, is a profound moment for our town.

“It is as clear a sign as possible at just how well we are doing, and how positively investors see the town’s future.

“And they’re right to do so.

“I am absolutely certain our wonderful new shopping centre will draw tens of thousands of new visitors to Eastbourne.”

The 170,000 sq ft extension is being funded by Legal & General and once completed will bring an additional 22 shops to Eastbourne, according to Eastbourne Borough Council.

An eight-screen cinema and restaurants will open in spring 2019 when a formal opening of the extension will take place.