The ‘regeneration game’ is a big hit

PEOPLE from Lancing were given the chance to discuss what needed to improve in the village during an open morning.

Lancing Regeneration Community Committee held a morning’s worth of activities on Friday, March 16, in Queen’s Parade, with residents getting the chance to talk about Lancing and what needs to improve in the village and its high street.

On the day, there was a photographic display of some of Lancing’s most attractive sights, craft activities for children, and a raffle with a number of prizes. There were also the opportunity for people to talk to the owners of the former Mermaid Café site on Beach Green.

Clare Milward, from the committee, said the day had been an “amazing success”.

She said: “We printed 40 questionnaires and had to go off printing more. We had 140 people stop and speak to us and subsequently more afterwards.

“It gave people the chance to stop on the street and talk to each other about what was good and bad. It was great to see people get stuck in with a chinwag.”

A workshop for the proposed sensory garden in South Street was held on the day with landscape architect Dave Schilbach.

As with the questionnaires, the aim of the workshop was to find what people wanted for the sensory garden, the funding for which has been applied for from Adur District Council’s Pot of Gold.

Clare added: “The purpose of the day was to let people know we’re here. We wanted to find out what people wanted and what the community said would bring them back to the high street.”

The committee is currently in the process of putting together a bid for the Mary Portas Pilot scheme – a government-funded initiative to rejuvenate struggling high streets across the country.

Clare said although Lancing’s high street appeared less deprived than some, there was a danger of things getting worse quickly.

She added: “The majority of shopkeepers who filled out our questionnaire are struggling to survive. “The high street is starting the slippery slope down and saving it is a fight worth fighting. If any more shops go it might not be saveable.” The bid for the Mary Portas needs to be submitted by the end of the month, and the committee will be filming a video to go with it.

And there are further plans to have a mural on the wall in Monks Recreation Ground, and to make Queen’s Parade a centre for creativity and “guerilla art”.