Government minister opens new style Station Square! 21 08 15
The RT Hon Mark Francois MP visited Bognor Regis yesterday [Thurs 20 Aug] to declare the transformed Station Square officially open.
The Coastal Communities Minister got into the spirit of the event by waving a flag to signal that it’s all change for the Square, now that the station forecourt is open to the public in time for the summer season.
The gateway to the town centre has been revitalised, with new grey paving framing the
elegant red-brick station building, alongside granite-clad planters and new seating.
Speaking at the event, Minister Mark Francois praised the Coastal Communities Fund for its success in rejuvenation seaside towns across the country.
He added: “"It is fantastic to see the regeneration of Bognor Regis town centre which is already attracting visitors, improving shop fronts and boosting the local economy.
“I have been impressed with the Arun District Council’s proactivity. They seem very determined to improve the quality of life for the residents in the town. I am fully behind them in seeing this regeneration work delivered.”
"Our £120m Coastal Communities Fund is helping projects like these breathe new life into their area so they can improve economic growth and help communities thrive."
Councillor Mrs Gillian Brown, Leader of Arun District Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, said: “Station Square has been transformed and now serves as a stunning gateway to our town. We are now looking forward to the renovation of the station building as this will complete the work to enrich this part of Bognor Regis.”
The new-style Square also has a new entertainment and events area, and the red-brown paving helps pedestrians to find their way around this part of Bognor Regis. Planting and trees have been specially selected to flourish in the windy marine environment, and will grow to cover most of the planters.
Images depicting Bognor Regis in the past and present have been sand-blasted into the granite planter surrounds to welcome visitors arriving by train.
Contractor, Balfour Beatty, managed the works sensitively to minimise disruption to neighbouring businesses and properties. A time-lapse camera recorded the construction works, and footage can be viewed at http://www.arun.gov.uk/regeneration-in-bognor-regis
Station Square is located mainly on land managed by Southern Rail, who worked closely with Arun District Council throughout the project. This joint working has been a catalyst in their recently-announced multi-million pound renovation of the historic station building.
Julie Boyle, Senior Project Manager from Southern Rail, said: “We’re really pleased with the new Station Square and we are looking forward to starting work on the station building improvements which will complement the square, and enhance the whole area for rail passengers and pedestrians.”
The regeneration of Station Square is part of the £1.6million public realm improvement scheme linking the station to the seafront, paid for by the Coastal Communities Funding. The next phase will join Station Square with the London Road precinct.