Agenda item

The Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis - Progress Report

The purpose of this report is to update Members on the progress of the project and to provide the key project milestones.


Before inviting the Interim Regeneration Officer to present his report, the Chair alerted the Committee to the addendum that had been published to the Committee’s web page and circulated to Members earlier in the afternoon, forming part of the supplement pack.


The Interim Regeneration Officer provided a further update on the regeneration of the Regis Centre, Bognor Regis and outlined some key points since his last update provided to the Committee on 12 February 2024.  Commencing with the addendum, it was explained that this was being presented to regularise a number of budgets that had been allocated to the project during the year from the UK Prosperity Fund and the Changing Places Toilet Fund.


In terms of project progress, the milestones achieved were outlined. The re-procurement of the contractor had confirmed the appointment of Neillcott Construction, the same contractor being used for the Littlehampton Seafront Project. A meeting was taking place tomorrow to commence discussions on the way forward in terms of the rest of the stage 4 design; how the compound would work; and where the site office would be. Work would then start with the Council’s Events Team looking at what the impact would be for The Esplanade and Belmont Street going forward. A meeting had taken place with the Development Manager from Premier Inns, who would work with the Council on construction management plans to minimis impact as best as possible.






Further intrusive grounds surveys undertaken had found more asbestos. Some had already been removed and some required more specialist removal due to its location. Arun Arts had relocated to the Bognor Regis Town Hall and their equipment was in storage. The remainder of the RIBA stage 4 design would recommence now that a contractor had been appointed which would allow the project delivery price to be confirmed enabling the demolition to commence shortly.


Councillor Nash then formally proposed the recommendations which were seconded by Councillor Oppler.


Questions were asked about the location of the site office; would this be in the Regis Centre Car Park or the Place and if and how many car parking spaces might be lost as this could have an impact on car parking revenue. Although a formal response from NeilCott Construction was awaited, it was likely that the site office would be in car parking spaces in the Regis Centre car park. There were spaces allocated in the theatre section of the car park which would be used first, it was anticipated that there would be a small revenue implication due to the use of car parking spaces for this purpose.


A question was also asked about Arun Arts and whether its licensee agreement had been concluded. It was explained that this was still being progressed and a response from the legal practice dealing with this was expected.  Finally, it was confirmed that work was expected to commence in May 2024.


Two Non-Committee Members were permitted to address the meeting. They expressed concern over asbestos removal and associated costs and how this might impact finances. Concern was also expressed over Arun Arts and did the Council have confidence in its long-term future in terms of it running the theatre on completion. Comments were also made about the size of the proposed café/restaurant and bar in the new scheme.


          The Committee


                     RESOLVD – That


To approve the total capital project budget be increased by £139k to £16,161,686 made up of:


a)    £45k for solar PV panels from the Council’s Climate Change budget , funded from revenue reserves offset by a corresponding underspend against the aforementioned budget; and


b)    £94k for kitchen and studio enhancements from the Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation – which has ben approved by Arun UKSPF partnership group.


Supporting documents: