WOW Information Centre

World of Widewater Information Centre – Timeline of progress and beyond

We have a project team of 4 people within the WOW committee leading this project. This building is to be single floor with a new toilet block attached but not accessible via the Information Centre (we are looking for a different project name).

The project is estimated to cost £300k – £350k and be fully funded by grant.

What we have already achieved

We have prepared a design brief with the help of Lydia Schilbach. This design brief lists who will be involved, what we want to achieve, and what we don’t want to have for the building. All WOW committee members have also had an opportunity to comment. This is a lengthy document and is now currently being prepared so it is more concise.

We would sincerely like the architect/designer to have a free hand on the design of the building, taking into account our suggestions from the design brief.

We have spoken to Lancing Parish Council who have supported the project at their amenities committee early in 2018.

We have approached Adur District Council officers with regard to replacing the toilet block that sits on Widewater. They are very keen to be part of this project with the toilets and have said they would want a Changing Places toilet for disabled people to be included. There is a £25k capital budget in 2018/19 to improve this toilet block and officers have suggested that if the toilet block is included in the project the £25k can be used as match funding of the project. We have spoken to councillors Neil Parkin and Emma Evans who have also given their support to the project. We have included the toilets in our design brief.

We have put in an expression of interest to Rampion to fund the whole project and they have confirmed it is a project they would be interested in and have asked us to put in a full bid for the project. The bid deadlines are May and September, we will be aiming for September; however, this is movable to later in the year if we need more time.

We have recently spoken to a senior officer at Adur Council and he has suggested we also seek funding from Heritage Lottery as Widewater has considerable history available. He feels this would be a better route for us to go, so we will review the criteria for them.

We applied for a small grant from WSCC for £1k, which has been approved for our LNR 21st Celebration. Within this bid we have stated that we will be carrying out some public engagement regarding the new Information Centre. We will have a table and some boards with an outline of the project; an artist’s impression has been prepared by one of our committee members for this purpose. We will of course consider the feedback from the public engagement and add into the design brief if required.

What is next?

We will be seeking funding from a maximum of 2 different funders to fund the architect/design cost to prepare the drawings for further consideration, and for the main bids to be submitted and potential planning permission. The cost for this is between £7k and £10k.

We are carrying out Public Engagement 21st April at our LNR 21st Celebration.
We are still in the planning stage and want to include as many people as possible in the project.

Janice Roberts