MONTHLY markets are set to bring vibrancy to central Bognor Regis.
Town centre manager Toyubur Rahman has been given street trading consent to stage the attractions in the London Road precinct.
He intends to put on farmers’ markets, arts and craft markets, technology markets and pop-up restaurants to boost businesses in the main trading area.
Permission for the most concerted bout of street trading in the town – with each event of up 50 stalls lasting for several days – was granted by Arun District Council’s licensing and enforcement committee.
Mr Rahman said they would build on the success of the Victorian Christmas fair.
“I want to attract the large number of affluent residents who live around Bognor who don’t come into the town because they don’t think the shops are right for them,” he said.
“I want them to think Bognor’s not so bad and to maybe come back to use the facilities in the town centre.
“There are also a large number of visitors to Butlin’s who are seeking more than we have got in the town centre at the moment.
“The retailers are always telling me there need to be more events, more attractions, more vibrancy in the town centre. The last five weekends before Christmas they saw a massive upturn in footfall and also sales in their shops because of the events. They are all about making people stay longer in the centre.”
The consent allows Mr Rahman to stage events from 8am-11pm on any day. He has to liaise with Arun’s licensing officers when his plans become more certain to ensure they meet the conditions imposed on all street markets.
The single existing street trader in the precinct, who sells doughnuts, will be taken into account if a market is held on his trading days.
Committee member Cllr Trevor Bence (C, Aldwick) said Mr Rahman had worked hard since he started last May.
“The Victorian market spoke for itself. It was the first bit of life I’ve seen in Bognor for a long time,” he said.
Cllr Tony Squires (L, Ham) said: “It’s good to see a man of vision at long last who actually wants to get things done. This is an opportunity for Bognor.”
Cllr Colin Oliver-Redgate (C, Ferring) said: “This will help to bring more fun into Bognor and is an added attraction for people to come to the town.
“The sooner it happens the better for me. It’s all about one word – fun.”
But chairman Cllr Graham Tyler (C, Rustington E) said: “This application seems premature to me. It’s a very good idea. I’m not pooh-poohing it but this will be a blanket permission.”