Tom Wilson Studio's architectural concepts
Computer visualisation of the Selsey Pavilion using the existing footprint.
Architectural concept of the Selsey Pavilion using the existing footprint.
Architectural concept of the Selsey Pavilion using the existing footprint.

Our Mission

Following the successful acquisition of the Selsey Pavilion in 2024, our foremost objective is to safeguard this historic landmark for future generations. Our initial focus lies on essential repairs and maintenance, ensuring the safety and accessibility of the main hall to the public.

Our Vision

Looking ahead, our vision encompasses a comprehensive restoration project aimed at securing the Selsey Pavilion's longevity for the next 110+ years. Generous contributions from esteemed entities including The Community Ownership Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Lottery players, Garfield Weston, Swire Group, Selsey Town Council, Chichester District Council, and the Architectural Heritage Fund have been pivotal in ensuring the Pavilion's long term future.

In 2022, we engaged the services of the renowned architectural practice Foster Wilson Size to commence RIBA Stage Two plans, charting the course for the Pavilion's long-term rejuvenation. While this process unfolds, we eagerly anticipate unveiling our forthcoming initiatives.

Get Involved

As progress towards restoration unfolds, we invite volunteers to join us in this pivotal phase of the Selsey Pavilion's journey. We welcome support in various capacities and encourage you to stay updated for volunteering opportunities.

Community Engagement

Through our "educate and inform" programme, we deliver regular talks, distribute monthly email newsletters, and continually expand our digital archive, housing over 1,200 newspaper cuttings and historical records that chronicle the Pavilion's illustrious history.

Moreover, we foster partnerships with local organisations, participating in the Selsey Community Forum and collaborating with Selsey's schools, the Theatres Trust, the West Sussex Records Office, the Selsey Photo Archive, and the Chichester Festival Theatre.

Meet the Trustees

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.

Phil Bassett

I first encountered Theatre when my family moved to Stratford-Upon-Avon and I attended William Shakespeare’s old school, King Edward VI Grammar, some 400 years after he did. I started going to the royal Shakespeare Theatre, just down the road. My first play was Henry IV, Part 2. Just the right introduction for a boy of 14.

I went to Southampton University School of Navigation to study Marine Engineering. After a year at sea I realised that I really wanted a life in theatre and managed to get myself a job as a stagehand at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. From their I progressed through stage management in Repertory Theatre to Production Management and Theatre Management at the Swan in Worcester. I returned to the RSC as a Stage Manager where my biggest production was as SM for Trevor Nunn on the epic production of Nicholas Nickleby.

From there I moved into what was then known as “Industrial Theatre” producing product launch events for companies such as Citroen, Vauxhall, Glaxo and DuPont. My wife and I then started our own Conference Production Company. The Production Team.

My volunteer work with a Youth and Community Canal Boat Project, led me to becoming a RYA Instructor and starting my own training company Canal Experience, using our narrowboat ‘Persephone’. I later added a boat brokerage, Boatshed Grand Union. 

My life has been boats and theatre. Now, in retirement it is wonderful to live here, in Selsey, right by the sea and to have another theatre, The Selsey Pavilion, to work on and enjoy.

Gillian Plowman‍

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.

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