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Hotel chains show interest in Fort Regent

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A UK hotel chain is among the businesses to have recently expressed an interest in Fort Regent, an Assistant Infrastructure Minister has said.

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And Deputy Hugh Raymond added that he hoped to ‘hear something’ within weeks about potential new plans for the site.

He made the comments shortly after visiting the former Fort Regent pool building, which is currently in the process of being demolished – around 16 years after it closed its doors. The entire structure will be removed before the site is laid with grass, extending Glacis Field.

Deputy Raymond said that the project had rebooted the public’s interest in the regeneration of the main Fort Regent complex.

‘This project has triggered a lot of interest in the site – moreso than in the past and I think that will help the redevelopment of [the rest of] Fort Regent – people want to see it dealt with and not disappear,’ he said.

‘In two to three weeks, I would hope to hear something on what we are going to do with it. If the public have lost interest in this, I can assure you that they [hotel chains and other businesses] have not – there has been lots of communication between Jersey and people in the UK, including with hotel chains and all sorts of things.

‘Someone even suggested putting a film studio here.’

Deputy Raymond added that despite fears over the current state of the main Fort Regent buildings, he thought that the structure was too essential to close and that the government would not allow that to happen.

‘Put it this way – Fort Regent is not going to close. If we look at places around the Island, they just do not have the same dynamics. Between 60,000 to 70,000 people live around Fort Regent – it is the centre-point of the Island and its population and I want to see it used by everybody.

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‘And we are still getting so many inquiries from people wanting to do events at Fort Regent but we are having to turn some down because we just do not have the capacity at the moment. They have included a global pop star and a well-known comedian.’

Mr Raymond added that he was very pleased that the former Fort Regent pool was being demolished after sitting derelict for around 16 years.

‘I also do not think they could have ever redeveloped the pool without the cost being astronomical,’ he said. ‘Why it was not knocked down years ago, I do not know.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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