The report (BID’s bright ideas for town, Bognor Regis Post Issue 197) appears to be another in a seemingly endless stream of reports announcing the revitalization of the town.
It rested uneasily with another article (Arun told to get a move on) which was also focused on regeneration initiatives. This seems to suggest that there are at least two groups focusing on this.
Are they headed in the same direction and what authority do either of the groups (Business Improvement District and Bognor Regis Regeneration Board) have in relation to the development and implementation of their respective individual proposals? How are they synchronized?
The BID proposals suggest plans to make different areas (which ones and why these?) more vibrant (meaning?) and welcoming through the use of colour lighting(!), planting and public art.
Just what does this really mean in detail and how will success in making BR different be measured? Greater retail footfall was suggested but that is only one key indicator. Why the circumspection on the proposals?
The regeneration board’s proposals appear to be focused on much larger initiatives and particularly the enhancement of the Regis Centre and Hothampton.
The same question arises. Why these particular initiatives and what authority does the board have in relation to the development and funding of proposals?
With the local civic society routinely gunning for the local authority on almost any new initiative this all sounds as if it too is heading for oblivion.
For more than three decades there have been endless proposals, schemes, agencies, working groups (at what cost?) all focused on enhancement and improvement.
Remember the dreaded blue sheds in the London Road precinct? What credence can be placed in the BID and regeneration board proposals and what are the realistic chances of implementation?
With further retail development on the periphery of the town in prospect, the critical retail/commercial core is likely to require something really spectacular if all the aspirations mentioned in the reports are to be delivered.
Philip N. Mortimer,