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Grants boost town groups

CLASSICAL music lovers in Bognor Regis have been given a £5,000 boost.


County councillors have awarded the grant to enable the kitchen and toilets at the Regis School of Music to be replaced.


Delighted joint founder Sasha Levtov said: “I’m absolutely astounded by the award and very grateful. Because of all the wonderful support we have had, I’m confident the work will go ahead. It would be good to get it done this summer.


“I did a lot of work, including the plumbing, when we moved in 24 years ago. But the toilets are nearly 60 years old and they are from the beginning of the building.”


The money was given by county council members of the Joint Western Arun Area Committee from their community initiative funding. It will pay for a new kitchen and four renovated toilets.


Cllr Francis Oppler (LD, Bognor Regis E) said he believed the school of music deserved the largest grant he had recommended to the committee.


“Although classical music is not part of my world, there are few organisations in Bognor Regis that have worked so hard and so succesfully to improve culture in the town and the surrounding area than the Regis School of Music.


“Giving this money will reach so many people in the greater Bognor Regis area and help them with new toilets and a kitchen which are absolutely vital for a community facility,” he said.


The Regis School of Music is fundraising on social media for £8,625 for the work. More than £1,000 has been pledged by individuals so far to take the total amount raised to £6,000-plus.


The building is used daily during term times and most weekends. Its reputation attracts musicians from around the world.


Mr Levtov said: “Between 200 and 300 people use the school a week, with more when we hold concerts and during our annual festival.”


A further £2,239 was awarded by the committee last Wednesday to the Bognor Institute of Laughter’s first tour.


The tour is due to take place in the late autumn and is set to be staged at Dementia Support’s new HQ in Tangmere on August to jog its members’ memories before another show at the Laburnum Centre in Bognor Regis.


Public performances at the Regis Centre are also planned as part of the tour.


Hilary Strong, the show’s director, said it would be a 30-minute TV news show called Bognor Sunshine Today.


“It’s all about Bognor Regis and starts with the idea the town is known as the sunniest spot in Britain.


“There will be a series of funny news reports like one in Hotham Park where alien birds are threatening all the squirrels,” she said.


The show was being created by steering group of eight. “They have mental health issues or autism,” said Ms Strong. “But we are still looking for extras.” Email:

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