I note with interest the petition in support of the Picturedrome and wonder why the Civic Society feels the need to defend this business only? It is a fact that the building is owned by the town council, but the cinema business is owned by a private individual.
If St. Modwen do present plans that incorporate a miniplex cinema then, as we have been told, it will include other opportunities for restaurants, pubs and hotels.
During all the deliberations to date, I have not heard a single word of dissent about the arrival of these other businesses.
Neither have I heard the town council nor supporters of the above petition defend any existing restaurant, pub or hotel from the alleged threats posed by the new businesses, as the vociferous few suggest for the Picturedrome.
Does this threat to the Picturedrome exist? If so it must follow that the same principle applies for other businesses in the town. Personally I do not believe that the threat does exist.
The four wards of Bognor Regis are the 3rd, 5th, 8th and 11th MOST deprived wards in West Sussex. The town council has committed these four deprived wards to fund the purchase of the Picturedrome at a cost of £716,167 over 25 years, PLUS another £593,000 refurbishments in years 1, 2 & 3.
The town council has not identified what other maintenance costs this 120-year-old building will require in the future. But you can be sure that ALL costs will be picked up by Bognor Regis town residents only!
When they have something concrete to show, the St. Modwen’s plans will be subject to a full public consultation, so I urge patience and careful consideration when that opportunity arises. I believe other businesses will see this as regeneration and choice, which will ultimately attract more people into the town.
Cllr Trevor Bence
Bognor Regis Pevensey Ward