This morning saw a celebration event held to mark the £2.5m investment in the town’s railway station.
The Aldingbourne Trust set the jubilant tone with a musical performance before the speeches and ribbon cutting.
MP Nick Gibb deemed it a ‘wonderful investment’ and said: “This is the station that Bognor Regis deserves to have, preserving the Edwardian heritage and the character. We have the traditional and the modern and the future combining together.”
Angie Doll, Southern and Gatwick Express passenger services director, revealed the aim was always about getting a balance between old and new.
“Modernisation isn’t about starting from scratch,” she said, adding that the work was all part of the company’s regeneration plan, which includes more trains coming on to the network and new buildings.
Arun District Council chairman Jacky Pendleton congratulated ‘everyone involved’. “I don’t think there is anyone who wouldn’t think it is stunning,” she added. “This impacts Bognor for us as residents and the tourists that come and help our economy.”
Councillor and town mayor Phil Woodall deemed the result to be ‘brilliant’, while councillor Phil Hitchin said it was ‘awe inspiring’ and that, on a recent visit, he was struck with how it resembled a film set.
“I even found myself walking out to see if there was a police phonebox as it felt like a Tardis,” he said, referring to the spacious layout, and added he even looked for Harry Potter on the platform.
The investment was made possible by a collaboration between Network Rail, Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway, Railway Heritage and Arun District Council.
West Sussex County Council are currently seeking an operator for the new creative digital hub at the site.
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