Bognor’s creative hub takes a step forward

Bognor Regis railway station will be the base for the hub. Pic Steve Robards  SR1600480 SUS-160501-160013001
Bognor Regis railway station will be the base for the hub. Pic Steve Robards SR1600480 SUS-160501-160013001

“It is really good to see this exciting project moving forward”, that is the view of the West Sussex County Council leader as Bognor’s Creative Digital Hub now enters the delivery phase.

Louise Goldsmith said: “We know there is a growth in creative business across the coastal area and basing the hub in Bognor Regis ,linked into the University of Chichester project, is the ideal place.”

It is anticipated that the hub, based at the town’s railway station, will be able to support more than 150 businesses at any one time by providing shared working space, business support and networking events. Louise added that ‘the appointment of the right operator for the hub is vital to its success’.

This process is set to see a call for bids issued in the spring.

“One of our three main priority areas as a county council is the development of the West Sussex economy,” said Louise.

“This project will achieve a range of economic benefits for Bognor Regis and the surrounding area, such as job creation, business growth, the establishment of Bognor Regis as a centre of the creative digital sector, skills development for young people and graduate retention, linked to the University of Chichester’s new digital campus in the town.”

She deemed it to be another example of the council’s ‘collaborative working’, as it has been ‘shaped with the help of the local business community’ – input she described as ‘really valuable’.

“Our aim is for the hub not only to bring something new to Bognor Regis, but to help contribute to the wider regeneration of the town,” she added.

A statement from the council explained the cabinet member decision ‘paves the way’ for formal lease negotiations on the two spaces at Bognor Regis Railway Station to progress.

In addition to the county council, a number of partners are involved in the project, including Arun District Council and Hemingway Design, which is working on space plans for the hub, designing how it will look, what facilities it will have and developing the branding for the hub, the statement added.

It is planned for the hub to open later this year.

Anyone interested in the project can find out more by emailing business.support@westsussex.gov.uk. Regular ‘community check-in’ events are also held to discuss digital opportunities and help local business, see www.bitly.com/BognorRegisHubNews