Eight bids share £250,000 to improve Bognor Regis

A community arts space, two music festivals and the town’s museum should benefit from a cash boost intended to revitalise Bognor Regis.

A community arts space, two music festivals and the town’s museum should benefit from a cash boost intended to revitalise Bognor Regis.

A total of 15 bids was submitted. Eight have won a slice of the £250,000 immediately available from Sainsbury’s to boost the town centre.

All applications were evaluated by the advisor to the town’s regeneration board, Richard McMann.

Mr McMann’s recommendations became public last Tuesday at Arun District Council’s regeneration sub-committee when he presented a report to a private meeting of the board last month.

“We have had some very interesting and exciting bids. As you can see from my report the allocation of some funds has been done so unconditionally and other unconditionally.

“In terms of the conditional allocation this has been done to allow for the development of ideas. Some of these projects are still in their infancy,” said Mr McMann.

He told councillors the successful bids were assessed on how they would positively contribute to at least one of five objectives.

These are to attract more spending customers and visitors to the town centre, increase spending in the town centre, improve the ‘offer’ of the town centre, improve its environment and to set it apart from others.

He said: “The words collaboration, cohesion and co-ordination were constantly applied to all assessments, the successful regeneration of Bognor Regis town centre can only be achieved by different sectors coming together - public, private and the community.”

The money forms half of the £500,000 Sainsbury’s is providing to the town to compensate for the impact its new store on Shripney Road might have on existing traders.

The sub-committee approved all Mr McMann’s recommendations.

The final decision on the bids - except for a £100,000 scheme to smarten up the town centre - will be taken by the council’s regeneration boss Norman Dingemans.

The remaining decision will go the next meeting of Arun’s full council for ratification.

A further £53,000 has yet to be allocated to schemes.

A second Sainsbury’s instalment of £250,000, due after the store opens, is to be spent on one larger single project.