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Businesses propose £700k investment in Bognor Regis

Businesses propose £700k investment in Bognor Regis

A PLAN to invest more than £700,000 in Bognor Regis to make the town a better place for trade through the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) has been developed by firms in the region.

Businesses have identified several priorities eligible to vote on which include promoting a positive image of Bognor Regis and change perceptions, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, stimulating the evening and night time economy, and better parking.

The BID proposal will be delivered through a 1.5 per cent levy on businesses with a rateable value of £6,000 or more to allow firms to take action on the issues that affect them and to have a stronger voice about what happens outside their premises.

The University of Chichester is supporting the establishment of a Business Improvement District in Bognor Regis as a thriving town centre is integral to the experience of our students and staff, according to its Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Seamus Higson.

He added: “In 2018 we will be opening our £35m Engineering and Digital Technology Park [below] on the Bognor Regis campus that will attract 500 new students every year in addition to the existing student population of 1500.

“The amenities and attractions of the town centre will play an important role in both the student and graduate experience.”

Engineering and Digital Technology Park

The BID, which is to be a not for profit company with a board of directors made up of nearby businesses, can last for a maximum of five years and must be able to demonstrate how it has benefited businesses.

The board will oversee the company and BID activities with funds of more than £700,000 to spend on their priorities over a five year period.

Traders’ Association Chairman Chris Heaps said: “Bognor Regis is a town that has so much potential and it is time for that potential to be realised, reversing decades of decline and building on recent improvements.

“The town is on the up and the BID can keep this momentum going. If businesses work together in partnership to deliver the BID, Bognor Regis can become a more thriving, vibrant and exciting town centre.”

The BID proposal has been developed by businesses being represented by Bognor Regis Town Centre Management: a partnership of the University of Chichester, Bognor Regis Traders Association, Arun District Council, Bognor Regis Chambers of Commerce, Bognor Regis Town Council, and Butlins.

Bognor Regis

Businesses have to decide if a BID is right for them - and their town centre – and are encouraged to read a proposal and feedback their comments before 31 March 2017.

In June of this year businesses will have the opportunity of an official vote on the plans and are encouraged to register their details with Bognor Regis Town Centre Manager Toyubur Rahman at t.rahman@chi.ac.uk.

If businesses vote in favour of becoming a BID then the process will start from April 2018.

Other businesses backing the BID include Morrisons, Wilkinsons, Boots, Santander, Barclays, Nationwide, Reynolds Furniture, Condor Blinds, Unique Printing, Dream Fitness, Simply Delicious, Costas, William Hardwicke, among others.

Butlin’s Resort Director Jeremy Pardey said: “We will be voting yes for the BID - we need the town centre to be more welcoming and provide better attractions, this is what our customers tell us.

“We will be investing £30M in a new Aquatic Centre to secure our future customers and I believe a BID for Bognor Regis will help secure the future of the town centre.”

To register your voter details contact Toyubur Rahman, Bognor Regis Town Centre Manager, at t.rahman@chi.ac.uk.

The Bognor Regis BID proposal can be found here and the full Business plan here.