‘Disappointment’ at decision to scrap Bognor Regis town centre manager post

ks180188-1 Bog Katy Bourne  phot kate Katy Bourne talking to town manager Toyubur Rahman in April.ks180188-1
ks180188-1 Bog Katy Bourne phot kate Katy Bourne talking to town manager Toyubur Rahman in April.ks180188-1

The decision to scrap the post of Bognor Regis town centre manager has been described as ‘disappointing’ by the town’s regeneration board.

Toyubur Rahman, who is employed by the Bognor Regis Town Centre Management Partnership, has served in the role since May 2014.

The Business Improvement District (BID) has decided to take a different direction and will not be retaining the services of a town centre manager when Mr Rahman’s contract ends.

Last week the BID thanked Mr Rahman for his efforts and contribution to the town over the last four years, but said it was exploring alternative ways of delivering its business plan.

Reacting to the news, the Bognor Regis Regeneration Board said it was ‘disappointed’ that the position of town centre manager will not continue.

The position was part-funded by the Sainsbury’s Section 106 developer contribution in 2012 with additional funding from Arun District Council, Bognor Regis Town Council, Butlin’s and the University of Chichester.

David Myers, advisor to the board, said: “Toyubur, as town centre manager, brought his considerable professional experience in place management to the challenge of improving the town centre environment for traders, residents and visitors.

“He worked exceptionally hard to meet his objectives liaising very effectively with all stakeholders and decision makers in the town.”

He continued: “The 50 per cent reduction in town centre shop vacancy rates in the context of the national retail picture is a great achievement. This has been achieved with Toyubur working in close partnership with the district and town councils to achieve considerable public and private investment. There has been over £2m of public realm works which has been the catalyst for £3m of private investment as freeholders and traders upgraded their premises with improvements in both external and internal appearance.

He added: “It is important that the new Business Improvement District board builds on Toyubur’s success and their new structure can continue to professionally revitalise the town centre in close partnership with all stakeholders.”

According to the BID, the management of the town centre has moved into a ‘new and exciting phase’ and it is taking the opportunity to put in place the right structure to deliver its objectives.

Directors of the BID and its partners have been working hard on the first phase of delivery, and last week introduced the town’s first dedicated community warden.

Paul Wells, chairman of the BID, said: “The BID has started to deliver some of the priority projects voted for last year, and the team’s focus is now on working with our partners to deliver a range of exciting Christmas activities.

“This includes the planned return of the successful ice rink sourced by one of the local businesses last year.”