Grandad’s Front Room appeals to council for storage

The Bognor Regis Community interest Company (CIC) has challenged Arun District Council for refusing them use of an empty storage unit in the town centre.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 11:56 am
Grandad's Front Room say they're in desperate need of storage

Grandad’s Front Room, on High Street, has spent the last several months appealing for the use of Unit 10, The Arcade for storage. The building is owned by council and Grandad’s Front Room owner Danny Dawes, hoping to use the empty property to store stock, has proposed a rolling one month lease on the property. So far, his plea has fallen on deaf ears.

This is despite the fact that the building, which was once used as an office space for the Richard Hotham Project, has been empty for several years and Grandad’s Front Room regularly support people referred to them by the council itself.

Frustrated, Mr Dawes has challenged the local authority directly, sending an email to every individual member of Arun District Council.

Mr Dawes says the vast majority of the shops stock comes from house clearances and needs to be stored well, which means space is at a premium.

This lack of storage, he says, has forced the charity to refuse perfectly viable donations, making it harder to service the needs of the community, as well as those of the people referred to them by the council.

“We are not asking for any funds from the council,” he wrote in his email. “We are not asking for a long term commitment from you. We are not asking for anything but a correct use of resources to benefit the community.”

More than a week after sending the email, Mr Dawes says he has heard ‘absolutely nothing’ from the council.

“If you can’t do it, just say. But give us a good reason why you can’t help the community with a building that’s owned by the community,” he said.

“The only thing that’s stopping me from providing stuff to the community is the council because they’ve got a building they just don’t want people to use.”

The council have been approached for comment.