Longest bench in Britain installed

The longest bench in Britain has been opened to the public in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

The bench, which was designed by Studio Weave, is 324m long and seats 300 people.

Studio Weave was approached in 2006 by Jane Wood and Sophie Murray, the clients behind Littlehampton’s award-winning East Beach Café, who were interested in developing a bench project, says Studio Weave director Maria Smith.

The studio worked with children from Connaught Junior School on the design. The structure bends and twists to fit in with the Blue Flag beach’s existing walls and incorporates two monocoque loops which house stretches of the bench.

It has been made from reclaimed hardwood slats, some of which have been dipped in brightly coloured polymer enamel and engraved with messages from the project’s supporters.

The bench’s design allows the structure to continue to grow to the target length of 621m, which would beat the current record-holding bench, located in Poland.

The first phase was funded by a £450 000 grant from the Sea Change Programme run by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and private donations.

The bench is part of Littlehampton’s regeneration plans, supported by Arun District Council and drawn up by architect Sir Terry Farrell.

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