Bognor Regis Centre ‘upgrade’, is it Regeneration? We have some answers — you can judge for yourself

A. The focus of the first phase of the project is as you describe. The existing ‘Pub’ represents a 2nd phase and lies outside of the scope of this particular phase of the project.

A. The number of seats is proposed to be increased to approximately 450 but the exact number will be determined when further detailed plans are prepared.

A. The specific details will be set out in the planning application that will be submitted in due course for the works. However, in addition to the above there will be increased studio space, improved front of house facilities, gallery space, new roof and other related improvements.

Q. The future use and appearance of the Pub is outside the scope of this particular phase. Any discussions with Whitbread’s are subject to commercial confidentiality at this time.

A. Any discussions with Arun Arts are subject to commercial confidentiality at this time.

A. The levelling Up Fund project for the theatre does not include the car park.

A. The intention of the proposals is to provide more floorspace to support the operation of the theatre. The details of any specific arrangements will follow the determination of any planning application.

What will now happen re the ideas and proposals submitted at the Council’s invitation late 2020 and considered by Cllrs in February this year so far as this site is concerned?

A. The proposals incorporate some ideas that came forward, whilst others maybe appropriate for latter phases.

Does the current LUF proposal mean that the Council will now no longer consider any of those proposals that would occupy the same space and more of the site?

A. The acceptance of the grant would mean that a scheme that sought to occupy the same space would not be deliverable. However, some of the ideas promoted in the various alternative schemes could still be potentially delivered.

A. Consideration is still being given to how

Regarding the theatre, I have asked the Chair of the Economic Committee whether the Council has had access to information concerning occupancy of seats for main auditorium productions in the years preceding pandemic restrictions. I am informed this was the case, so can you please provide that information in terms of % occupancy in the year immediately preceding those restrictions? How was this information used to justify expansion of seating, and what projections were made, if any, as to improved % occupancy given the nature and history of Arun Arts as an amateur/community theatre?

A. The Chairman responded to you question with the comment — “I can confirm that as part of the submission, data on existing audience participation was analysed along with market potential.” However this information is commercially sensitive and therefore wont be released. However, I can advise that the data was analysed independently of the Council.

I understand that the Leader of the Council may have stated on BBC TV that the LUF project could generate 3000 jobs? Is this correct? If so, can I please have some justification for this figure, or if not, what the expected job creation might be?

A. I am unaware of the specific interview you refer to. However, the estimated number of tourism jobs is in excess of 200 gross for the LUF bid as a whole plus there would be a number of other jobs created, for example through construction.

COMMENT

To be honest and frank, this seems a lot of money to tart up The Regis Centre on two sides only, and unrealistic as a project to cover Regeneration needs for the next 50 years. This is selling our Town short….

Recent Freedom of Information request awaiting response:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/levelling_up_bid_2021#incoming-1942763

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National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, Also runs Bognor Regis Herald online. Plus runs British Music Radio online

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Jan Cosgrove

Jan Cosgrove

National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, Also runs Bognor Regis Herald online. Plus runs British Music Radio online

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