Our south coast towns of Worthing and Bognor Regis are well and truly putting themselves on the map as up-and-coming places to live and work, with regeneration and business investment on the rise and more expected.
Over the last few years especially, Worthing and Bognor Regis have been attracting businesses and residents to their sunny shores – and for good reason too; they’re exciting places to be, with plenty of plans and ambition for development and investment.
Worthing’s economy has seen rapid growth of high value creative, digital and IT sectors as well as being home to major employers including Bowers & Wilkins, Rayner Optics and GlaxoSmithKline, which recently invested £100 million in the town, while Bognor Regis has received investment by Rolls Royce Motor Cars and the University of Chichester, as well as creating new commercial devleopment opportunities through Enterprise Bognor Regis (a 70-hectare commercial and employment development opportunity located on the northern edge of the town, which has the potential to accommodate 150 businesses and provide over 4,000 new jobs), demonstrating a growing confidence in Bognor Regis as an investment location.
Bognor’s recently completed £2.8m town centre improvements have helped to breathe new life into the seaside town, while the £28m relief road and viaduct have increased accessibility. To cope with demand for those wanting to live in beautiful Bognor Regis, 1,350 homes are nearing completion with further plans submitted to create 5,500 homes to the north and west of the town. There’s also exciting plans proposed for Gardens by the Sea – including a linear park consisting of residential accommodation, retail space and an outdoor space for the public to enjoy, and transforming Bognor Regis seafront with 3,000sqm Winter Gardens and creating a new theatre/cultural hub.
Speaking of cultural hubs, Worthing is undergoing a rapid renaissance fuelled by entrepreneurial small businesses and independent retailers, all creating an exciting, creative buzz in the town. This teamed with plans to transform Worthing Museum & Art Gallery, plus the opening and potential expansion of Colonnade House (an affordable workspace for creative businesses), is attracting creative entrepreneurs to the region, with over 1,800 enterprises (an increase of 10.2%), employing over 5,600 people.
Public proposals are also being conducted to revamp two of Worthing’s town centre streets, by adding more open continental-style pedestrianised boulevard walkways, to soften the streetscape of the town.
“It’s definitely an exciting time to be living in on the coast in West Sussex, with so many new developments and things happening,” Caroline Wood, director of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership says. “Both towns are raising their profiles and creating new opportunities for regeneration and investment, which will see more homes being built, increase job prospects and boost the local economy.
“If you’re thinking of making the move to Bognor Regis or Worthing, get in quick – I think they’re going to become even more popular as time goes on!”