WORK to install new paving outside Bognor Regis railway station will start next week.
The new design of the square, part of a multi-million pound regeneration of the town’s centre, includes the paving which will echo the surface installed in the nearby London Road precinct.
There is a new activity area which will host displays, music and other events.
Vibrant plantings, new trees and seating and attractive lighting are designed to encourage people to linger for longer, as well as provide a fitting backdrop to the historic station building.
The overall intention of the scheme is to transform the site to reflect its status as a main entrance to the town.
Gillian Brown, the leader of Arun District Council, said: “The improvements to station square along with the other regeneration planned will positively change the face of Bognor.”
The money for the improvements is coming from the £1.6m Coastal Communities Fund awarded to the council last year.
The removal of the existing trees, which the council has said are overgrown, outside the station will be completed first.
But the extensive work will mean the station forecourt, apart from the pavement, will be closed to the public for a short time.
However, there will be signage to guide those using the station to other entrances and exits.
Southern Railway, which runs the station’s train services, supports the scheme.
Southern project manager Julie Boyle said: “We very much welcome this new development in the regeneration project.
“Once completed, it will play a big part in providing an even warmer welcome to visitors coming to the town by rail.”
The project is being undertaken by Balfour Beatty on behalf of the district, county and town councils. It is expected to be completed by the early summer.
The station dates from 1902 and is the third building on the site. A Grade II listed building since 1989, it forms part of one of Bognor’s three conservation areas with the Reynolds’ Depositary and Picturedrome cinema opposite.
As reported, town councillor Tony Gardiner is among the scheme’s critics.
He said last year: “The people who want to do this are Philistines. They want to put something modern in place of something which matches the station.
“The current paving was only laid 20 years ago and there is nothing wrong with it.”