Eastbourne Langney Centre market reopens after roof collapse

Langney roof collapse
Image caption The building's steel lattice roof collapsed after a night of heavy rain and wind

Stallholders have held their first market since a shopping centre was shut because part of its roof collapsed.

Langney Shopping Centre in Eastbourne was declared dangerous on 20 December after the collapse and has remained closed since.

About 30 traders ran stalls and Boots the Chemist opened a temporary unit in the centre's car park on Saturday.

Eastbourne Borough Council said it would help stores trade from the space until the centre re-opens.

'Really difficult'

Councillor Steve Wallis said: "We are acutely aware of how devastating the roof collapse has been for many business at what should have been the busiest time of the year.

"Wherever possible we will do our best to help meet the needs of the local community and that includes considering appropriate requests for permission to place temporary units in the car park to allow limited trading.

"We want to make sure that residents have access to important local services and I would therefore urge businesses within the centre to contact us to see if we can grant temporary planning permission."

Lynette Keeley, who runs the Craft Stall, said: "It's been really difficult. I've got a website so I've tried to set up a home delivery service. But a lot of elderly people rely on me."

The building's steel lattice roof collapsed after a night of heavy rain and wind but Wealden District Council does not believe the weather was to blame.

It has sent samples of the concrete to a building pathologist to find out why the collapse happened.

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