Major projects around the town get funding approval

MORE than £2m of projects for Bognor Regis have been agreed by councillors.

They decided to approve the schemes among the capital initiatives they want to see take place in the next 24 months.

The total cost of the projects comes to £4.5m.

Backing for them came from Arun District Council’s cabinet members.

Council leader Gillian Brown said: “We should be very pleased we are so financially sound that we can look at a capital programme.”

Cllr Paul Dendle, who is in charge of the council’s environmental services, said: “We have a lot of things we need to do but not a lot of money to do them with.

“It’s not an easy task to balance the different needs with the different resources.”

The Bognor area projects are a new all-weather pitch (£360,000), gym extension (£500,000) and essential maintenance (£400,000) at the Arun Leisure Centre.

A further £581,500 has been committed for works to improve town centre and £250,000 for a new cafe in Hotham Park.

Alan Peach, the council’s head of finance and property, said: “This will give us an embryonic capital programme, possibly the most comprehensive for a number of years.

“It’s quite an achievement, particularly in the current environment.”

The projects met the council’s three priorities of providing the best services it can, supporting those who need help and strengthening the economy, he said.

The council had also agreed its leisure strategy and was working with regeneration schemes.

He stated: “It is now of strategic importance to consider all these matters together and determine the respective priorities for delivery over the next seven years or so.”

Further projects which were included in the list to take place in 2014/15 include £250,000 for possible works to change the outlets on Bognor seafront and the same sum for preliminary work on the St Modwen regeneration scheme.

Council chief executive Nigel Lynn said Arun could be spending either £1m, £3m or £5m improving the Alexandra Theatre later in the decade as part of the work to regenerate the site.