Objective Three: Night Time Economy
Improving the evening and night-time economy is a key priority for businesses.
During the evening and late night, the town quickly becomes deserted, with low numbers of people around, few businesses open and the presence of groups of people that could be viewed as intimidating. Evidence from other towns indicates that having more people out and about around the town at night makes it feel safer. There is significant scope to further improve how people feel after dark and this is an important reason to develop the evening economy to help make the town a more welcoming, inclusive and inviting place.
What is the Bognor Regis BID doing about this?
The BID made a long-term commitment to the Night Time Economy by financing the reinstatement of seafront lights to Gloucester Road, where seven columns are now wrapped in festoon lighting. Gloucester Road is an important gateway to the seafront, and the lighting helps channel night-time visitors approaching from the east onto the Esplanade and towards the town centre.
Working with the University of Chichester, the BID conducted a research study into student spending, with a particular focus on the night-time economy. The final report reveals some extremely interesting findings about the changing habits and preferences of university students and makes recommendations as to how local businesses could adapt to engage with more of the growing student population.
One of the key findings of the research is the perception of Bognor Regis being unsafe at night. The BID’s focus has therefore been on improving this situation for all businesses through its development of the BCRP. Following recent accreditation, this can now be offered out to the night-time economy as a cost-effective alternative to the existing Pub Watch scheme.