BOGNOR Regis’s town centre manager has been recognised on a national level for his ‘remarkable achievements’.
Toyubur Rahman’s outstanding contribution to the town has earned him a Special Recognition award.
Marcus Jones, minister for local government, presented the award as part of the Great British High Street of the Year 2015 competition.
Toyubur spent ten years working for the Association of Town and City Management before coming to Bognor Regis.
He said: “The initiatives I have implemented are things that town centre managers and town teams across the country should be doing to ensure that their town centres have an active role for the future.
“This recognition demonstrates what can be achieved relatively quickly with a little funding and lots of creativity to bring about positive change for the future of a town.
“People forget what a beautiful place Bognor Regis is, it has so much potential and the time is right for the town to realise that potential.”
In a letter informing Toyubur of the award, it describes his achievements as ‘remarkable’ and notes his introduction of creative events like the Aerial Birdman and award-winning customer service training from Butlin’s.
Gillian Brown, leader of Arun District Council, said: “This award is fantastic and richly deserved.
“It is great that Toyubur’s hard work and achievements have been so visibly recognised.”
Since taking up the town centre manager post in 2014, Toyubur’s work with traders has resulted in a reduction in vacant premises from 35 to 23 shops. This equates to an 8.8 per cent vacancy rate against a national average of nearly 13 per cent.
It has also seen a complete refit of more than ten shops and attracted new businesses to the town, such as the Tonsorial Parlour, Hogan’s Shoes and Sports Direct.
Chris Heaps, chairman of Bognor Regis Traders’ Association, said: “Toyubur has worked with traders to strengthen the pride they feel in their town with events like the Community Clean-up Day.
“His creative ideas and well-managed events, such as the Dickensian Christmas Market, have created a positive buzz in the town and attracted new people to come and visit, as evidenced by great footfall and record takings at local shops.
“I think we are very lucky to have Toyubur and we are looking forward to working with him over the coming months and years to make Bognor Regis ever better.”
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