Cinema improvements set scene for town regeneration

IMPROVEMENTS at a much-loved Bognor Regis cinema have cemented a commitment to regeneration.

Bognor Regis town councillor Roger Nash said the works which have already been done at the Picturedrome and those which are due to be carried out in the near future showed the council’s commitment to regenerating the town.

Cllr Nash said: “This is our part of the regeneration of Bognor Regis. It shows our commitment to the town and that we want to see things happen.

“I am pleased what we have done and what we are planning to do has been so widely supported.”

Cllr Nash made his comments at the annual meeting of the town’s electors last Monday.

Fellow town councillor Jim Brooks said the positive response towards their plans was the highest in the town’s most deprived ward Marine, which showed just how important the cinema was to the people of Bognor. Cllr Nash confirmed this was the case.

He said: “The response from the Marine ward was very positive, but it was almost as positive in the Pevensey ward.

“I think that is a demonstration of the tenant’s pricing, which means that even the most hard-up residents are able to use the cinema.

“It does perform not only an entertainment role, but also a social one as well and as a town council we want to maintain that.”

The improvements planned for the Canada Grove venue by the town council include building another screen and community room.

The Picturedrome’s Operator Adam Cunard is also building a 45-seat auditorium in an unused first-floor room in the historic building.

This is at a cost of around £50,000 and it is expected to open in the summer.

Cllr Nash told those gathered it was difficult to say when all the works would be completed, but steady progress was being made, he said he hoped all would be finished by late 2015/early 2016.

A planning application could be expected as early as June.

Hugh Coster, the deputy chairman of the Bognor Regis Civic Society, praised the town council’s work.

“This was widely supported by the townsfolk. We are in a terrific place now and this is largely due to the operator who has done a brilliant job of making it into what it is today.”

Ian Harding a member of the Bognor Regis and District Chamber of Commerce’s executive committee echoed the comments.