Bognor Regis theatre could be redesigned

Some of the Regis Centre could be knocked down to connect the sea and the shops in Bognor Regis.

The drastic work on the town’s entertainment centre would take away its side next to the Place St Maur to allow a clear view between The Arcade and the promenade.

Norman Dingemans, who is in charge of Arun District Council’s regeneration programme, said: “When we redesign the theatre, we will remove that area so you can go down The Arcade and see the sea.

“I hope we can push that forward as fast as we can. We have been saying for quite a long time the town has got its back to the sea.

“The proposals for the Regis Centre site and the Place St Maur will link the sea and the town together.”

The biggest alteration since the centre was built in 1979 would take place if the St Modwen-led redevelopment of the site occurred.

This would involve a drastic redesign of the site as part of its multi-million pound regeneration scheme.

The 350-seat Alexandra Theatre within the centre will be greatly extended and improved with some of the development profits which will come from linked regeneration of the Hothampton site off Queensway.

The improved theatre will go alongside the controversial plan for a multi-screen cinema with bars, cafes, restaurants and a hotel.

Consultation about the proposal is due to start this summer.

Cllr Dingemans made his comments at the council’s regeneration, leisure and tourism working group.

Fellow working group member Roger Nash said: “It’s going to be quite an expensive job to get a sight of the sea from The Arcade. We would have to look at that carefully. You would have to move what we have got there either left or right. That would need some thinking about.”

Anthony Everitt, the council’s senior economic regeneration officer, said: “To get the sightlines you need to be spending quite a bit of money to remodel the theatre.

“There’s quite a bit of money which could be used on the theatre. A feasibility study on the building will be completed over the next few months.

“I certainly hope it will be finished by the time the public consultation starts.

“That will allow the public to see the remodelling plans for the site in terms of what St Modwen plan to do as well but also what the opportunities are for the theatre.”