10th October 1961
Fort Regent construction approved
“The Jersey States Assembly today accepted in principle plans for the development at some future date of Fort Regent,” reported The Times on 11 October. The reported had been filed the previous day.
The development, as approved, carried an estimated construction cost of £1m, of which £100,000 would be devoted to a new restaurant. Aside from the eatery, the new Fort Regent complex would comprise sports facilities, including a swimming pool, and an entertainment venue. There was no mention of the cable car that would eventually carry visitors up to the top of the hill. Instead, there was talk of somewhat less exciting “lifts”.
A recycled building
As its name might suggest, the site on which the complex was constructed had previously been a military installation. It was last used in a military capacity during the occupation, when it was reinforced by German forces and hosted flak cannons. Following the occupation, it was largely used for storage.
The States of Jersey had bought Fort Regent from the British government in 1958 for £14,500, but initially had no determined use for the site.
Therefore, although the plans were approved in principle in 1961 it took until 1967 for work to start in earnest, and the swimming pool didn’t open until 1971. The pool closed in 2009, but the Fort remains in use for exercise and entertainment.
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