Butlin’s teams up with University to improve Bognor Regis

Learning and leisure could set Bognor Regis on the way to a prosperous future.

Dr Clive Behagg, the University of Chichester’s vice-chancellor, said it was keen to work with Butlin’s to improve Bognor.

The two organisations were among the three partners who funded a study into the prospects of a watersports centre in the town. Prof Behagg said he hoped it would be the start of joint working which would benefit everyone.

“It has been a huge pleasure for the university to be working on this project and to be working alongside Butlin’s and Arun District Council.

“It is a very unusual kind of partnership and a very strong partnership and it’s given rise to what could be a fantastic building,” he said.

“It’s a partnership which could stand us in good stead. There are all sorts of areas in terms of improvement of facilities which Butlins and the university could campaign between us.

“This could lead to changes in the infrastructure which the town is badly in need of. We are also both interested in raising the profile of Bognor nationally.

“That would help us to bring in more students and help Butlins to bring in more visitors. Raising awareness of Bognor will mean more people will want to come here.”

The Observer reported two years ago how the university and Butlin’s – whose sites face each other on opposite sides of Upper Bognor Road – had linked for the first time.

The watersports centre is the latest example of that joint working. Prof Behagg said it was one of the ways in which the university showed its commitment to Bognor.

He said: “Our new strategy demonstrates our commitment to coastal West Sussex but it is Bognor which is in our hearts.”

The evidence of this was the £6m from university funds spent on the current £14m upgrade of its Bognor campus. This would bring in 200 extra students by creating a new learning resource centre and refurbishing the historic Dome.