Bognor Regis has been awarded £50,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund to help fund the creation of a new Heritage Quarter in the Old Town around Norfolk Street, including the Grade II listed pier.
The funding will help to transform a neglected part of the town. The Heritage Quarter was also awarded £10,000 through the Coastal Communities Team fund in July this year.
The successful Coastal Revival Fund bid was written in partnership with Arun District Council, and the money will be shared between the Bognor Pier Trust and the Old Town Working Group. It will enable Bognor Pier Trust to commission all the specialist services they need to make a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to bring the structure of the pier up to modern standards while enhancing the heritage features. This will provide the foundation for future ambitious plans to restore the pier back to its former glory.
Paul Wells, Chairman of the Bognor Pier Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding. Generations of tourists remember visiting the pier when they came to Bognor for their seaside holiday. This money will help us with our aim of restoring the pier so future holidaymakers will have similar memories to share.”
There was a lot of interest in the Coastal Revival Fund, with three times as many bids than available funding, demonstrating the strength of the Bognor Regis application.
The funding will also enable the start of the long process to pedestrianise Norfolk Street and Little High Street, and to design new seating and paving in keeping with the historic setting.
It will also pay for attractive new decorative lighting which will animate and uplift the area, and events such as artisan markets to attract people to visit the area.
A local developer plans to bring derelict buildings back into use as good quality restaurants and cafes, creating a new evening destination for the town. Ultimately there will be stylish public art gateways to mark the new destination within the town.
Toyubur Rahman, Bognor Regis Town Centre Manager, said: “This funding will play a part in transforming an area which needs rejuvenating into a vibrant heritage-focused place with the aim of attracting new cafés, restaurants and other businesses creating valuable jobs. It will create a different attraction for visitors to the town centre.”
The purpose of the Coastal Revival Fund is to help kick-start the revival of heritage assets such as piers and lidos that have potential to create jobs and opportunities for new businesses.