A RENEWED search will have to begin for a town-centre manager for Bognor Regis.
Disappointed backers of the position to lead the regeneration of the retail area declined to support any of the initial candidates.
Meetings between those funding the role will be held soon to decide how and when to re-advertise for new applicants and to re-assess the job description.
Richard McMann, the Bognor Regis Regeneration Board’s adviser, said: “Unfortunately, none of the candidates met the criteria we had set to go on to the second stage of interviews.
“It was a unanimous decision and so it was clear-cut. But the important thing for us is making sure we get the right person for the job.
“It’s an important job for the town. What has happened is disappointing, but that is the whole point of the interview process.
“I would want us to go out for new candidates as quickly as possible. I don’t want us to lose momentum on this, but I realise it might take a little bit of time to find the right person that we want.”
The town-centre manager will be appointed for four-and-a-half years at an annual salary of up to £36,298.
The £250,000 total cost of the position is being met by Arun and Bognor councils, Butlin’s and Sainsbury’s through the planning permission for its store.
Six male and female applicants had applied to become the latest town-centre manager when the role was advertised last month.
Four of them were invited to the recent interviews. They began with an informal dinner and meeting the night before the interview sessions.
Mr McMann said the three-strong interview panel expected a successful candidate to show a level of suitable experience, knowhow about the workings of business improvement district bids and the ability to work in partnership with a range of organisations.
The initial interviews by members of the town and district council and the University of Chichester would have been followed by further interviews.
They would have featured an extended panel which would also have featured Butlin’s, Mr McMann, the chamber of commerce and Bognor Regis Traders’ Association.
One of those involved with the search for the town manager is chamber of commerce chairman and president Nick Stuart-Nicolson.
He said: “What has happened is hugely disappointing. This is the right time to get a town-centre manager.
“We are poised for regeneration in this town and is the perfect opportunity to have a manager to lead us into this period.
“Failing to appoint anybody leaves the town in limbo because the position has to be re-advertised. We expected to choose someone, but that’s how it was.”