The Regis Centre redevelopment has been delayed until the summer of 2025 after Arun District Council needed to bring in new contractors.
Redevelopment of the centre, or Alexandra Theatre, in Bognor Regis was due to be completed by 2025, but is now expected to complete in the summer of 2025, at least a six month delay, as Arun Arts moved out of the centre later than expected.
Work on the project has started with ‘intrusive surveys’ into the outside of the theatre digging up the surrounding moor, but could not start inside the theatre with Arun Arts still there, partly leading to some contracts lapsing and requiring new contractors to be brought in.
The council’s Interim Regeneration Consultant Neil Taylor, who updated Arun’s policy and finance committee at a meeting on Wednesday, December 6, said they had ‘significant contingencies’ in the redevelopment’s budget ‘not only for changes but for inflation’.
He said as such the budget was not a concern yet, but ‘unfortunately’ delays meant they would not be able to start demolition work of part of the theatre until March 2024.
Contractors might also be using the old Brewers Fayre site as their offices now it has been stripped of the additions made by previous owners, Whitbread, with Mr Taylor noting currently it is in an ‘unclean’ state and not ‘habitable’.
Jim Brooks (Ind, Marine) said if contractors use the Brewers Fayre site, the council should consider charging them rent to use it, given a £76,000 rates bill the council has had to pick up since taking back control of the building.
Keir Greenway (Con, Bersted) asked if the Brewers Fayre site is going to be used as offices and demolition of part of the theatre is delayed, would that stop the site being used for something else – as the economy committee recently approved a study on its future as a ‘Royal Hall’.
Mr Taylor stated it is up to the economy committee what happens to Brewers Fayre and its future use as temporary offices for the contractors.
He also said solar panels on the redeveloped centre are currently costing £50,000 but the council is seeking £150,000 further to get a ‘full’ array of panels on the roof.