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New lights for the seafront

Two new sections of decorative lightings on Bognor Regis seafront are due to turned on tomorrow.


The illuminations are returning to Gloucester Road, thanks to funding from the Bognor Regis business improvement district (BID), after the previous worn-out lighting was scrapped six years ago during a wholesale street lighting replacement programme by West Sussex County Council.


BID chairman Paul Wells said: “Improving the night-time economy is one of the current objectives of the BID.


“So, we are delighted to fund new lighting along this important approach to the seafront, which also links the seafront to one of the town’s major attractions, Hotham Park.”


Low voltage blue and white LED festoon cabling has been wrapped around the columns to make for a striking display.


The work has been carried out by contractors engaged by Bognor Regis Seafront Lights, the volunteers who organise the summer spectacle.


Further west, 10 new displays have been attached to columns between the Rock Gardens and Park Road.


They replace aged nautical themed rope-light features which were beyond economic repair. The new shapes each feature three parallel arcs of low voltage LED coloured bulbs.


The new lighting will come on about 9pm tomorrow, along with all the existing displays, as the same time as fireworks ascend from the pier as part of the big switch-on weekend.


Coles will be presenting a funfair all weekend. This will be sited on the road, to mean The Esplanade between Clarence Road and Lennox Street, was closed at 7am yesterday and will stay closed until early Tuesday morning.


Lights’ secretary Greg Burt said: “We had hoped to have the new displays along by the Rock Gardens lit by last August but various technical difficulties delayed the scheme until this year.


“It should be worth the wait, though. We are still thinking about replacing the aged umbrella stand displays.


“But, with displays costing around £1,000-plus per display, we can only do so much at any one time.”


While the group, which was formed in 1997, receives funds from Bognor Regis and Felpham councils, nearly as much again is raised from fundraising events.


These include regular activities such as jumble sales, a garden fete, donations from traders, sponsorship and the illuminations gala on August bank holiday Sunday.


Residents can support the lights with the ongoing adopt a light bulb scheme.


For just £2 a year, residents can adopt a bulb of their colour. They will receive an attractive certificate in return.


Application forms are available from Heygates Bookshop at 67 High Street in Bognor Regis.

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