We are working towards the restoration of the Selsey Pavilion as a multipurpose community arts and heritage centre for the whole of the Manhood Peninsula.
The Selsey Pavilion Trust are busy working on two significant projects:
Firstly to purchase the Selsey Pavilion from its current owners, followed by limited refurbishment ensuring the main hall is safe and secure for public access.
Secondly to develop longer-term plans for a complete restoration of the building ensuring its long-term survival for another 100+ years.
Following two generous grants from the AHF in 2021/22 that enabled us to commission a positive project viability study, the Community Ownership Fund awarded us £299,400 (£249,500 in capital funding and £49,900 in revenue funding) in March 2023. This grant is 50% of the building's sale price and contributes to essential maintenance and repairs.
Thanks to a fantastic grant of £249,405 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded in August 2023 on the eve of the Pavilion's 110th birthday, the Trust is delighted to announce that sufficient funds have been secured to purchase the Pavilion. This grant will also enable the Trust to implement an exciting programme of heritage-based activities.
At the same time, through our "educate and inform" programme, we deliver regular talks on the Selsey Pavilion, send monthly email newsletters and continue to expand our digital archive of over 1,200 newspaper cuttings and historical records covering the Selsey Pavilion's illustrious past.
We have also fostered collaborations with other local organisations through our involvement in the Selsey Community Forum, a collective of voluntary organisations, and partnerships with Selsey's schools, the Theatres Trust, the West Sussex Records Office, the Selsey Photo Archive and the Chichester Festival Theatre.
Christian Skelton: Chair
My wife and I moved to Selsey from Surrey in 2011. After freelancing as a website developer for just over a year, in 2012 I joined Selsey-based creative agency Ascender where I've risen through the ranks to co-owner. At University I studied Modern History and this interest has continued through to local heritage. I’ve been drawn to the Pavilion since the very first time I set eyes on the art deco facade. I love the possibilities of what the building can offer to the local community and I will do my utmost to see it back in use.
Keith Batchelor: Vice-Chair
I taught history at Shoreham College and Prebendal School in Chichester for 38 years and held several positions of responsibility through my career. I have a strong interest in a variety of sports as a spectator and play bowls at Crablands. In retirement I have maintained my interest in history through involvement in projects linked to the heritage of Selsey. I undertook recording oral history for the “Seas The Day” project on the fishing industry in Selsey. I am currently working with the “Selsey Photo Archive” team researching and cataloguing the stories behind the images. I joined the Selsey Pavilion Trust in 2019 and fully support the ambition to restore the Pavilion and return it as an asset to the community. I currently see my role as trying to develop greater awareness and understanding of the importance of the Pavilion to the heritage of Selsey.
Gill Walsh: Treasurer
Hello, I am a Trustee and the Treasurer. I have lived in Selsey permanently for 20 years but, like many, I came here for my holidays - to the Old Malthouse Caravan Site and my late parents moved here some 50 years ago. I have been fortunate to work much of my career in the community and be paid for it – latterly as the Community Resource Manager at Selsey Regeneration Ltd and then as Clerk to Selsey Town Council. When I retired 5 years ago, I wanted to stay working in and for the community in a voluntary role. I am and have been involved in a few Selsey community groups, including being a co-founder of Selsey Festival. I have many wonderful memories of visiting the Pavilion as a child to watch films and, in recent years, my husband has “trod the boards” at the Pavilion and so its restoration is important to me.
Rosie Neal: Secretary
I came to Chichester to attend Bishop Otter College and liked the area so much that I stayed and married a local. I taught Primary children in local village schools for nearly thirty years while my husband, Andy, worked at Chichester Festival Theatre. We have two sons and two grandsons.
I became involved with the Pavilion Trust through my love of theatre and iconic buildings and my husband, Andy Neal’s link with the Pavilion. He was involved backstage with the Scamps pantomime Aladdin in 1964, while his younger sisters appeared on stage and their mother helped with the costumes. So I am pleased to act as Honorary Secretary for the Trust. We have also enjoyed recent productions at the Pavilion and would love to see it restored and able to host many local events. We look forward to the time when the Pavilion is again a vibrant part of Selsey life.
I moved to Selsey in 1986, and was immediately intrigued by the iconic frontage of the Selsey Pavilion and what lay behind it. It had so obviously been a theatre once upon a time, but long since used for other commercial purposes. I am an actor, director and professional playwright, writing for theatre, radio and film. My plays have been produced worldwide, and I have experienced working in many different theatres. My chance to see inside the Pavilion came in 2014 when I collaborated with Pamela Howard and Chris Butler by writing the script for the promenade performance of The End of the Journey, a play to mark the start of WWI. Or, as Pamela said, a play about the trenches, because the inside of the Pavilion looked like the trenches! Since then, I have written a new play for the Pavilion each year, enjoyed by sizeable audiences. My dream is to see a renovated Pavilion theatre for the people of Selsey and beyond!
Professor Pamela Howard OBE
I am a Director and Scenographer working primarily in opera and contemporary music theatre. My practice encompasses large and small scale productions, in major opera houses and unloved and forgotten spaces.
I trained at the Slade School of Fine Art (1958/9) and had a full career as a theatre designer, developing a love of text and context with Fine Art. Since 2000, I have been the total creator of productions developing a scenographic language of beauty and simplicity on stage, where the performer is always ‘the carrier of the myth’. Sustainability and imaginative use of space are central to my practice. A compulsive observer of human life, I am never without a pencil and a sketchbook, notating the everyday, methodically storing my pencil sketches and reworking them on stage.
I am a passionate advocate for the restoration of the 1913 iconic theatre building in Selsey High Street, and I am the researcher and artist of The History Wall.
Louise worked in finance and banking before becoming a County Councillor in 2001. She was promoted to Cabinet Member for Environment and Economy, where she was instrumental in setting up the LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) Coast2Capital. She later held the Finance Portfolio before becoming Leader in 2010, taking a strong role in developing the economy in West Sussex. She stood down from being leader in 2019. Now semi retired Louise combines charity/volunteer work, consultancy work giving her time for other pursuits, walking, opera, environmental issues, the arts and gardening.