A magnificent metal map of Steyning town centre forms a new arched gateway welcoming visitors to the town.
The official opening on Sunday was the culmination of a three-year project, organised by Steyning and District Community Partnership’s visitor and tourism group.
The innovative design by Steyning architect Nick Jones was made into the new gateway by Sussex Ironworks.
Reina Alston, vice-chairman, said: “The visitor and tourism group was proud and ecstatic to officially open the new archway that now highlights the twitten entrance connecting Newmans Gardens car park with Steyning High Street.
“After nearly three years of planning, from a small seed to a solid concept, through design, production and sourcing funding, it is now happily installed. This was a community-driven initiative, headed by the partnership.
“The rusty roof of the arch is laser cut to depict the Ordnance Survey map of the high street area – a real work of art.”
The ribbon cutting party included visitor and tourism group chairman Martin Leigh-Pollitt, Horsham District Council chairman Kate Rowbottom and cabinet member Jonathan Chowen, Nick Jones from Jones Architects and Alistair Burrows from Sussex Ironworks.
Reina said: “Horsham District Council have been wonderfully supportive of the project from its inception and together with assisting with the installation at dawn on the Thursday before the opening, during the next few months they will lay the final surface of bronze resin bonded pebbles and uplighters to illuminate the four legs of the arch.
“This will coincide with other improvements they will be making to this car park over the coming months. The granite foundation stone, showing the names of all those involved, will be laid in around two weeks but there was a plastic stand-in in situ on Sunday, just to show how it would look.
“The whole project ties in well with the Horsham District Year of Culture, being an artistic legacy to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, for many years to come.”
A reception was held at The Steyning Centre following the opening.
The Steyning gateway was funded by a LEADER grant, agreed by the Central Sussex Local Action Group, and a grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Other improvements covered included signage through High Street to the South Downs, several new information boards, a new website for Steyning and District Food and Drink Festival and a new Steyning and District Community Partnership website, now called Visit Steyning.