Review of concessions to boost Bognor Regis business

A wide-ranging review of concessions and street traders around Bognor Regis is to be launched.

The need for a review of the small businesses, mainly on the seafront, to boost the town has been agreed.

The importance of concessions is seen by the fact Arun has 37 of them which generate £140,000 a year. This is about three times the income from the Fitzleet multi-storey car park.

Arun District Council senior economic development officer Anthony Everitt said concessions had the ability to create a vibrant place.

Achieving improvements could take place while work continued on alonger-term projects like a watersports centre.

“It is, therefore, apparent that some smaller-scale, quick-win projects are needed to ensure regeneration momentum is continued and the public can see noticeable change.

“Improving the quality and diversity of concessions and street traders represents an opportunity to increase the vibrancy of our town centres at a modest cost relative to the larger-scale intentions.”

He intends to present a draft strategy – which will cover the entire district – to councillors next February. The final version will be completed soon after.

Cllr Norman Dingemans, who leads the council’s tourism service, said the most recent Bognor seafront strategy from 2009 offered a basis for the review.

“This was said to be a 20-year programme and we need to replenish what’s in there. We have got to get this right,” he said.

“We don’t want a long-term concession which may interfere with building a watersports centre in the next year or things like that.

“Or, if St Modwen decide to start work at the Regis Centre, the last thing we want is to have a ten year concession in the middle of it.”

Members of the council’s regeneration, leisure and tourism working group agreed to the review taking place and its timetable.

Cllr Roger Nash (Bognor Pevensey) said the emphasis should be on quality and high standard of outlets.

“This review is a necessary thing and it’s very welcome,” he said.

Cllr Sandra Daniells (Bognor Orchard) said: “I really support this. It is not before time.”

Cllr Phil Hitchens (Aldwick West) said: “I like the fact we are going to be proactive rather than reactive and we are going to be doing something before the next season.”

The review will look at markets, temporary kiosks, street entertainment and mobile premises.