Business centre rejects petition for name change

The new name, using the same style of lettering as the previous Ropetackle sign
The new name, using the same style of lettering as the previous Ropetackle sign

MORE than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Basepoint name to be changed back to Ropetackle.

But the business centre in Shoreham town centre has refused to alter the new signs on the east and north faces of the building.

They have, however, said they hope to reach a compromise with Ropetackle Arts Centre, to enable their name to be more visible.

A meeting was held last week between district councillor Mike Mendoza, East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton, arts centre chairman Martin Allen, Basepoint regional manager Karen Osborne and centre manager Stephanie George.

Mr Mendoza said: “I presented the petition, which contained over 1,000 names. The regional manager said she did want to accept the petition as she claimed those who did sign were coerced into signing.

“Further discussions followed, with the regional manager making it quite clear that they now own the building and it is their right to have their name on the towers. It was also said that they had council approval for the name change.”

Mr Allen said it was quite a complicated situation and different factors had arisen, including the community and heritage damage the name change had caused within Shoreham.

“The name Ropetackle means a lot more than letters on a building. Mike Mendoza and Tim Loughton see that as the major issue and part of the original development was that this was the gateway to the site and the name.”

From the arts centre point of view, it was important for the Ropetackle name to be clearly visible.

Mr Allen explained: “We need a prominent name on the building. We get a lot of people coming to the arts centre who are not local. About 40 per cent of the audience is not from the Shoreham area and a lot of them don’t know the town. This is something that should be capable of being resolved.”

He said Basepoint would not change the main name, as a lot of money had been spent on it.

“Basepoint have offered alternatives but did not resolve the main issue, insisting on keeping the name as it is now,” added Mr Allen.

The business centre representatives said their proposal was to include the name Ropetackle on the building, but this had been rejected at the meeting.

Karen Osborne said: “We are disappointed that an agreement could not be made at the meeting, however we have arranged further discussions with Martin Allen and sincerely hope to resolve the matter so that a satisfactory compromise can be met.”