Battle on over funding pot for town centre from developer

IDEAS are flooding in to spend money on Bognor Regis town centre.

A flow of suggestions has been made by people anxious to see their schemes benefit from a share of the cash being given by Sainsbury’s.

The deadline for submissions for the £250,000 is February 29. They are being made to the Bognor Regis Regeneration Board.

Its members, meeting in private, will make recommendations for the successful bids to Arun District Council’s regeneration sub-committee in April.

Arun senior regeneration manager Caroline Gosford told the sub-committee meeting: “A lot of ideas have come forward. It’s great there’s been lots of interest. I am amazed at some of the ‘off the wall’ ones. You can see there is the opportunity to knit some of them together into something exciting.”

The sub-committee agreed it wanted to be presented with a list of all the ideas which had been sent in rather than just the recommended ones.

Cllr Trevor Bence said: “The fact the board is coming back to the sub-committee with its recommendations destroys all the arguments in media articles about its secrecy.”

Council leader Cllr Gillian Brown said: “The board is a private-public partnership. It is not a board of the council.

“Bognor is one of the luckiest towns in the whole country to have a board made up of private concerns who have actually put their money into the town.

“It should be kept as an independent board but anything that affects Arun should come back to this sub-committee.”

Outside the meeting, BRighter Bognor secretary Jean Coles said its initial thoughts for the Sainsbury’s money included: a smaller capital project such as a gallery for local artists, travel projects, a tourism scheme such as a tent campsite for visitors and improvements to London Road’s street furniture and trees.