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£10,000 awarded to Bognor's historic pier

New investment in Bognor's Pier Credit: ITV news

Bognor's historic pier has won ten thousand pounds to help breathe new life into the seafront. The Pier Trust wants to restore the grade 2 listed structure and redevelop it as a iconic community asset.

The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund will be used to conduct studies and surveys, and apply for further grants towards the project.

The award will assist the Trust in submitting a Heritage Enterprise application later this year. The Trust hope to have a new visitor centre open on the pier by 4th May as part of the 150th anniversary of the building of the pier. The visitor centre will allow the community to find out more about the work of the Trust and the bid that will be submitted.

The Pier is one of 58 piers left around the British Isles, and has been home to the world famous international Bognor Birdman Event that had been running since 1978. The event moved to Worthing in 2008 due to further loss of the Pier structure.

Commenting on the award, Paul Wells Chairman of the Bognor Pier Trust said: "We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the funding will support the next exciting steps that are required to enable us to submit our Heritage Enterprise bid later this year. The aims of the Trust's restoration plans for this Grade II listed Pier will add to the overall regeneration of Bognor Regis seafront."

Plans for the future of Bognor Regis

Artist’s impression of the Sir Richard Hotham Project’s proposed regeneration for Bognor Regis Credit: Maxwell Communications

Plans are being unveiled next week that will see the physical, cultural and economic transformation of one of the South Coast’s most well-known and best-loved seaside resorts.

Private and commercial residents of the coastal town of Bognor Regis in West Sussex are being invited to view and give feedback on plans by the ‘Sir Richard Hotham Project Limited’, before they are submitted for planning permission to Arun District Council at the beginning of next month.

The proposed development will transform the Regis Centre into a stunning seaside development of shops, restaurants, hotel and apartments with an amazing boardwalk and gardens for the public to use all year round. Hothamton car park will become an iconic, purpose-built theatre and hotel complex including a conference centre named after nationally acclaimed, local author and playwright, Simon Brett.

Dignitaries, local officials and media representatives are being invited to a preview of the public consultation at Pierpoint House, 1 Waterloo Square, Bognor Regis, PO21 1TE at 3pm on Monday 26th January, where architects, representatives of the consortium, working partners and Simon Brett will be available for interview.

Members of the public will then be welcomed to view the exhibition of architectural plans and artists impressions for the rest of the week as follows:

  • Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th January between 10am and 7pm

  • Thursday 29th and Friday 30th January between 10am and 5pm

  • Saturday 31st January between 10am - 4pm.

"Our aim is to bring a new era of economic prosperity to Bognor Regis with a wide and varied level of high quality entertainment, together with a stunning board-walk development overlooking the sea front. There have been a number of proposed plans over the past thirty years involving public money and joint projects, but we now have private investment in place that will allow a long overdue regeneration of Bognor Regis to fulfil the town’s tremendous potential."

– Thomas Elliott, Leader of the consortium


CCTV footage of Bognor Regis burglary suspect released

Detectives have released CCTV footage to help a trace a man they want to speak to following a burglary in Den Avenue, Bognor Regis, on September 2.

Between 1pm and 4pm the house was broken into while the owners were out and a large amount of jewellery was taken.

CCTV recorded at the address shows a man leaving the house during that time. He appears to be aged 30 to 40, is about 5' 10" and was carrying a grey shoulder bag and a JD Sports carrier bag.

A £1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the offender.

Anyone with information should email quoting serial 1045 of 02/09, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Stretch of A29 closed after fatal crash

A person has died following a two vehicle collision on the A29 Lidsey Road between Shripney and Westergate, north of Bognor Regis.

It happened at 12.55pm north of the Robin Hood public house, close to Lidsey Caravan Park.

The A29 has been closed between the Shripney roundabout and the Westergate level crossing while emergency services are at the scene.

The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance was called in but one driver died after suffering what is believed to have been a heart attack.

Parents of children attending Aldingbourne Primary School have been warned to expect delays and diversions. Local bus services have also been affected and motorists are asked to avoid the area.

The road closure is expected to remain force until at least 5pm.

Campaign to buy Blake's 'Jerusalem' cottage

A group are bidding to raise half a million pounds to save William Blake's cottage on the Sussex coast.

Blake wrote the famous 'Jerusalem' song at his home in Felpham near Bognor, where he lived between 1800 and 1803.

Campaigners are hoping this project will regenerate Bognor, as the controversial East Beach cafe did for Littlehampton. Sally Simmonds explains:


Concerns for missing Bognor woman

Debbie Ward hasn't been seen since Sunday Credit: Sussex Police

Police are increasingly concerned for the welfare and safety of a woman missing from Bognor Regis.

41-year old Debbie Ward, of Priestley Way, Bognor, left home in her T-reg Toyota Landcruiser at lunchtime on Sunday 13 July.

Her family, who reported her missing to police later that afternoon, have not heard from her since, and her car was found parked, with keys still in the ignition and windows open, at a quay at Langstone, between Havant and Hayling Island in Hampshire, at lunchtime on Monday 14 July.

Debbie had been depressed recently and her husband and children are desperately worried for her.

She is described as white, 5'9", with green eyes and long blonde straight hair.

Sussex officers investigating her disappearance have been working with colleagues in Hampshire, who are searching the mud flats and other open areas around Langstone Harbour.

Woman raped in Bognor whilst walking home

Police are investigating after a woman was raped in Bognor in the early hours of Saturday morning. A 23-year-old woman was walking home after getting money out at Tesco Express on Station Road when she was approached by a man on a bike.

He offered to walk her home as she was upset because her plans with friends had not happened. They walked along Royal Norfolk News towards Swansea Gardens. The man pushed the woman against a van by a garage block at Norfolk Square and raped her. The woman ran towards West Street.

She was collected by a friend. Detective Inspector Mark Cullimore said:

"This man offered to walk this woman home before raping her and we are appealing to anyone who might have seen a woman walking with a man with a bike between Station Road and West Street. The victim is obviously very distressed by what happened and we are giving her support by specially trained officers.

"The suspect is described as having a Birmingham accent and being in his 20s. He is slim, around 5' 8" with short brown hair and stubble and was wearing a grey hooded tracksuit and bagging trousers.

– Detective Inspector Mark Cullimore

Beach lifeguards on patrol at Bognor Regis for first time

The new lifeguards at Bognor have been fully trained in the use of lifesaving equipment Credit: RNLI/James Oxley

Lifeguards will be patrolling the beach in Bognor Regis this summer for the first time. The new service from the RNLI, on behalf of Arun District Council, is being launched this weekend.

The lifeguards will be on patrol from 10am - 6pm every day from Saturday 5th July until the 7th September.

The lifeguards will also be offering swimming safety tips to holidaymakers Credit: RNLI

Teams will be equipped with the latest lifesaving equipment including rescue tubes, defibrillators and spinal boards.

The lifeguards will operate from two lifeguard hubs on the beach Credit: RNLI

RNLI Lifeguard Manager Rory Smith said: "We're delighted to team up with Arun District Council to help keep visitors to Bognor Regis's beach safe during the summer.

"Building on the expertise we have developed through 13 years of providing beach patrols elsewhere on the coast, our new lifeguards have been training hard in preparation for the season's opening on Saturday 5 July.

"Bognor is a busy seaside resort which attracts lots of tourists and locals to its beaches and our lifeguards will be keeping them safe throughout the summer months."

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