LOCAL historians have been given approval to put a historic piece of Bognor Regis’ tourism past on display.
Their bid to show a 1905 Edwardian bathing machine at their museum on West Street has been granted planning approval.
Bognor Regis Local History Society chairman Greg Burt said the permission from Arun District Council would boost the museum.
“It will enable us to put on display a very rare original bathing machine from the early 20th century,” he said.
“It gives us something to shout about which no-one else in this area has got.
“It boosts the appeal of the museum which is good news for the town because we are its only indoor tourist destination. We want to make it better and better and create more reasons for people to visit us.”
The society has about £15,000 towards the cost of converting a storage building at the back of the museum into the exhibition space for the bathing machine.
The money has come from the town council, Sainsbury’s as a condition of planning permission for its store and an anonymous donor.
But Mr Burt estimated that was only about half the total sum needed to carry out the required work.
A bid would be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund to help to bridge the gap. He would also be running in next month’s Bognor Prom 10K road race with fellow local history society member Jason Passingham to raise some sponsorship.
Arun planning officer Sue Leeson said in her decision the new exhibition space would improve The Steyne and Waterloo Square conservation area in which the museum is located.
“The proposed use and conversion of the existing store to form exhibition space for the museum is considered to make a positive contribution visually and as a historical resource to enhance both the conservation area and the building which is on the local list of buildings or structures of importance,” she said.
The museum opened in the former Berkeley Arms pub three years ago.