Volunteer’s plea for help for Bognor Regis events

A plea has been made for Bognor Regis events to be supported by local authorities.

At a meeting of the joint western Arun area committee, Steve Goodheart, the co-founder of Bognor’s Rox Music and Arts Festival, appealed to the county, district, town and parish councillors to continue helping events.

Mr Goodheart said: “Historically this committee has supported events like the Rox and the Bognor Birdman, for which we are all grateful.

“I am here with my begging bowl asking you to please continue to help.

“The 21st Rox Festival took place in July and we were lucky to have some good weather. The festival attracted a record-breaking 43,000 people and that is some achievement.

“That is people from not just the town, but from across the wider area all coming into Bognor Regis – spending money and seeing what the town has to offer.”

Mr Goodheart said mass community events like the Rox Festival could only go ahead if they were well supported.

He said: “But we can put on events like this only by raising funds, which takes an enormous amount of work and relies heavily on the goodwill of our sponsors.

“A lot of local events are organised by volunteers, who give up a lot of time and resources to put on events which can be enjoyed by the whole community.

“We have already started planning for next year’s Rox event and the changes in the market will undoubtedly effect us.

“All I am asking this committee to do is if when they see an application for a local event of, say, £2,500 they think of the bigger picture. Bear in mind what a difference this money makes and what these events mean to the community.”

Mr Goodheart thanked the committee members for all their previous support and told them funding given was always really well received.

Rox Music and Arts is a not-for-profit community charity which works to develop musical, theatrical, literary, comedic and artistic opportunities.

Every summer the organisation holds a giant free festival. The event grows year-on-year and this year’s festival included five stages and more than 100 performers.

West Sussex county councillor George Blampied, who chaired the meeting last Wednesday at the Arena Sports Centre in Westloats Lane, said the committee considered each grant application made on its own merits.

Anyone interested in getting involved with Rox Music and Arts should email information@the-rox.com or visit www.the-rox.com