29 September 2021
The results of a Future Fort Island-wide consultation and closed research focus groups has been published online. Almost 2,500 Islanders completed the public survey which is one of the biggest participation rates of any Government survey.
Earlier this year the Chief Minister announced the Government's proposals to transform Fort Regent into a first class cultural and leisure destination. A six-week Island-wide consultation ran from Tuesday 15 June to 27 July 2021 designed to gather feedback on the proposals.
The proposals included botanical and winter gardens, flexible venue space, contemporary entertainment options and family-focused facilities. It also set out a phased approach, consisting of an Early Phase, which is expected to take up to three years, and Longer-Term Phase, which is expected to take up to ten years to develop.
Of those Islanders who took part in the public survey, 75% were supportive of the long-term plans for Fort Regent with the Winter Gardens, The Venue and Leisure box rated as the top three attractions Islanders were most excited about.
In the closed research, 87% of participants either loved or liked the overall plans for Fort Regent. With the majority either excited or neutral about a casino. Feedback from the focus groups and online research community differed to that of the public survey due to the research agency being able to add context to questions and to explore answers more thoroughly.
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondre, said, "I would like to thank Islanders for taking part in the consultation that explored the Future Fort proposals. I am pleased that we had such a high response rate as it is really important that everyone had the opportunity to have their say in creating the vision to transform Fort Regent into a cultural and leisure destination for both Islanders and tourists of all ages to enjoy.
"Fort Regent is an important part of St Helier's skyline and therefore it was necessary to gain the views of as many Islanders and stakeholders as possible. We ran numerous focus groups and closed online forums, as well as the public consultation to really get a taste of what people are excited or concerned about.
"The next stage will be starting the procurement process for a design team in the coming weeks and starting work on the outdoor spaces later next month. Finalised information on this will be announced soon."