A revamp of Bognor Regis’ Station Square was officially unveiled by a Government minister today.
Mark Francois, minister for communities and resilience at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), was joined by representatives from Arun District Council, Bognor Regis Town Council, and the Bognor Pier Trust for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The new design of the square aims to reflect its status as a main entrance to the town and includes new paving, seating, trees and planting.
Gill Brown, leader of Arun District Council, described the previous layout as ‘depressing’ and felt the improved square offered better links to the town’s pedestrian routes.
She added: “This whole area is going to be more vibrant and encourage more people to spread from the precinct up here and gives people a much better impression of what the town has to offer.
“We are very excited about it and having a minister down as well.”
Regeneration of the area outside of the station is set to be followed by investment from Southern in its interior, she added.
Mr Francois told attendees he was ‘delighted’ to officially open the square, which was renovated using part of a £1.6m grant from the DCLG’s Coastal Community Fund.
He said that Bognor Regis could serve as a regeneration model for other coastal towns, and added: “I’m impressed by the regeneration work that has already been done and the plans for future works.”
He was also shown around the Bognor Regis Pier by the trust, who recently secured a small grant within the Heritage Quarter Coastal Community Team to work up bids for future funding.
Paul Wells, chairman of the trust, explained that they were on track to submit a bid to the Heritage Lottery Funding by the end of the year for refurbishment of the pier.
He said: “The support has been absolutely brilliant. The directors of the trust are overwhelmed with the level of community support that were are getting. We have got a lot to work toward.”
Cllr Brown said that the pier was ‘very important’ to the town, and one of their other main focuses was developing regeneration proposals for the Regis Centre and the Hothamton site.
To become a friend of the Bognor Pier Trust visit their website.
To view a time-lapse of the square’s construction visit Arun District Council’s website
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