New team at Bognor Regis theatre

Four new trustees have been elected to help run the Bognor Regis theatre.

The quartet were chosen to oversee the Arun Arts charity’s work at the Regis Centre and its Alexandra Theatre.

They were selected in a closed ballot by 62 members of Arun Arts at an extraordinary general meeting held at the centre.

One of the two established trustees, Hazel Latus, said: “I am pleased to say we had a dignified and good meeting with a good deal of support.

“Hopefully, as a result, we now have a proactive board of trustees all committed to good governance of the charity.

“Everyone involved has a passion for the centre. The new trustees want to ensure they help continue to support the centre in whatever way they can and maintain the venue for the good of the community and people of Bognor.

“The Regis Centre exists due to a tremendous team effort of which we all feel privileged to be part.”

As reported, the meeting was called after three former trustees of Arun Arts resigned together in protest at a lack of transparency in the charity’s running.

The Charity Commission had also been called in separately because Arun Arts had failed to meet the deadlines for financial information to be submitted.

This left just Mrs Latus and Peter Baldwin temporarily in charge at a time when the centre’s site is the focal point of a multi-million pound redevelopment scheme for Bognor.

Arun Arts has a 40-plus year lease for the Regis Centre and runs its daily management of the building through the Regis Centre Ltd subsidiary.

The charity’s four new trustees are:

n Margaret Bristow - a long-standing and passionate volunteer who has raised a great deal of money for the centre through her Rainbow theatre group. She helped the venue to survive in previous crises;

n Pat Dillon - another long-standing member and volunteer. He is a town councillor and very much has the interest of the Regis Centre at heart;

n Jenny Brown - has been involved with the theatre for many years as a volunteer and member. She has a passion for the centre and understands what is required to carry it forward.

Jenny is also involved in many other local groups and has a lot of knowledge of charity workings; and

n Richard Holden - brings a lot of experience in charity procedures as a treasurer and chairman. He was also involved with the large Fairfield Halls in Croydon for many years before he retired to gain experience of an entertainment venue.

The Regis Centre consists of the 350-seat Alexandra Theatre, the smaller studio room and a meeting room.

The Alexandra Theatre is set to benefit from a multi-million boost of expansion if the regeneration schemes go ahead.

Developer St Modwen is proposing to plough some of the proceeds from the work to add 150 seats to the venue and install a fly tower to make moving scenery easier.

Both improvements will increase the theatre’s ability to attract bigger acts and offer a wider range of entertainment.