Board Briefing Notes - April Board

Briefing documents May 22 2020

Briefing Notes on Bognor Regis Regeneration Board Meeting

On Line Meeting 29th April 2020

                                   

1&2 Welcome and Introductions

Raof welcomed Professor Catharine Harper from the University of Chichester and Cllr Bob Lanzer from WSCC.

3.Matters Arising from January Board Meeting

Arun DC’s Electric Car Charging Policy.  

Metamorph would like to put 5 charging points in front of the Royal Hotel and is willing to supply the infrastructure. Feedback from ADC required.

4 Board members statements regarding their Covid 19 objectives/sharing experiences. Arun District Council

ADC reported that priority has been given to housing vulnerable people/rough sleepers to keep them safe. ADC’s Business Rates Team is leading the approval and distribution of the Business Grants Scheme (up to £25K in value) to companies with a rateable value of less than £51k. All ADC services are continuing with only a skeleton staff at council offices with the majority working at home.

WSCC

WSCC reported that they were working very closely with local authorities during the “protect and survive” phase for the local economy. Opening waste and recycling sites is a priority in the near future. He recognised that getting PPE into care homes has been an issue. WSCC has been signposting local authorities and businesses to financial assistance.

Bognor Regis Town Council

The town council highlighted the council’s involvement with emergency grants and assistance for elderly and vulnerable people and local businesses, including signposting/information hub. This ranges from shopping for the elderly to gearing businesses up for online working.

Landlink Estates

Landlink Estates promotes and undertakes land for development projects and manages properties. Their business has adjusted well to remote working. The business has a food bias which has held up well in the current climate. The Saltbox site is on hold due to safety and construction supply chain concerns.

Butlins

Jeremy has had to furlough the majority of his 1300 staff and operate with 70. They have worked closely with ADC to accommodate 50 homeless in the resort. He does not expect to open for the next few months. Jeremy highlighted the need to support local businesses and will be meeting with BID and the University to see how Butlins and the Board can assist. He highlighted a need for the Board to be agile and act quickly on how to engage and support small businesses.

BID

The BID had briefed that they had been working on an online/virtual high street window http://shoplocalbognorregis.co.uk/ which has now been launched. They have assisted in helping owners with explaining the government’s financial assistance schemes and terminology. They are working on Christmas plans taking into account probable social distancing. The emphasis will be on visual focus and installations.

Metamorph

Nick reported that the Royal Hotel site was closed during lockdown but has now reopened under government guidelines. He is planning on the flats at the eastern end (East Lodge) being available first., although he has delayed the restaurant opening from November to Spring/Summer of 2021. Planning consent has been secured for a garden with open air dining at the front. He is planning a comprehensive external lighting scheme for the development.

University of Chichester

The University has gone online for all teaching which has presented a real challenge in both teaching and assessment. The majority of Chinese students have returned home. The University is supporting the community with NHS staff being accommodated in halls of residence and also making available their computing power to support viral and disease research projects. They have recently launched a business hot house grants scheme to develop and grow local businesses.

Coastal West Sussex Partnership

The Partnership has been collecting data from local businesses and coordinating with C2C LEP into the Dept. of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The horticultural sector is desperate for garden centres to open. CWSP is now looking at how they can assist with businesses reopening. It was noted that across the Coastal West Sussex area there was a mixed picture.

5.Advisor’s Report

The advisor confirmed that the transfer of the Board’s administration had been agreed. It was noted that a large number of local businesses had not yet applied for the Government’s grant scheme.

He said it had been a great privilege to work with the Board members over his six years as Advisor supporting their business objectives and projects. He gave his best wishes for the future to the members and their organisations in these uncertain times.

6.Board’s Administration

Raof thanked the University of Chichester for handling the Board’s administration over the past 6 years or so. He also thanked David Myers for his excellent role as Advisor during which time the Board has successfully increased its membership, improved its finances and played an active role in influencing major regeneration projects in and around Bognor Regis. Following consultation with the Steering Group and Board’s members, it was agreed that the Board will incorporate as a company limited by guarantee.

7. Advisor Recruitment

The Chairman reported that a good level of response was received to the Board’s advertising both online and via newspapers for the Advisor role. Three individuals were short listed from a strong list of candidates and a preferred candidate chosen with a start date of 1st August. Details will be announced in due course.

8.AOB

Butlins see the short term priority as supporting local businesses. It was agreed that they would lead on this with the BID and the University.



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