Airfield Parks jobs hope for Bognor

A £6m boost for the future of Bognor Regis has been announced.

The Coast to Capital board has awarded the money to the proposals for the Airfield Park site.

This could create at least 800 jobs on the former Lec Airfield on the eastern side of the railway line and north of the Arun Leisure Centre.

The scheme has received almost half of the initial round of £14m of allocations from its Growing Places investment fund which Coast to Capital has awarded to five projects.

Tim Wates, the chairman of the Coast to Capital Growing Places investment committee, said: “I am very pleased to announce we have five very strong projects that have the potential to stimulate growth within the Coast to Capital area.

“The variety of projects also demonstrates the willingness and intent of the board to consider all options when looking for ways to create long-term high-quality sustainable jobs.”

The Airfield Park scheme will deliver a large part of Arun District Council’s enterprise@BognorRegis vision for a major development north-west of the town.

The proposal is to redevelop the former airfield and its adjacent land with a mixed-use jobs-led development.

The Growing Place money will be used to fund infrastructure works required to unlock about 10,000sq ft of business space in a parkland setting. It is expected to take about three to four years to complete the initiative from planning to completion and cost £83m.

Arun leader Gillian Brown said: “I’m really delighted to hear that our bid for Bognor has been successful.

“We are totally committed to creating unemployment through enterprise@BognorRegis and this will be a major step towards achieving that and helping to bring about an exciting new future for the area.”

It is hoped the airfield’s development will unlock extra investment and enterprise initiatives to create further jobs.

The Airfield Park project has been led by landowner Sime Darby London, supported by the district council.

Raof Daud said on behalf of the company: “We are thrilled to have been successful in the bid. Now the hard work starts on delivering the project.

“We are grateful for all the support we have received from the regeneration partners in Bognor.”

Coast to Capital will work with the five chosen projects to agree individual investment plans and ensure continuous due diligence processes are in place to enable the projects can deliver their ambitious plans and value for money.

The other successful schemes are the i360 development in Brighton, Caterham Fast Fibre Hubs, Malling Brooks in Lewes and Croydon’s Ruskin Square.

A total of 16 bids were received which sought £57m.