Nik Butler: An ever-changing Horsham should expand on consistent event opportunities

JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001
JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001

The purpose in these columns is to present a unique view on Horsham; one built from more then three decades of living in the town.

I was a teenager here, I fell in love and I married here, I now work, and I run, and I play here, in Horsham.

I have seen the pavements cover the roads from Bishopric to East ( some say Eat ) Street; I watched as the Carfax flitted between ice rink and pedestrian area and as the Red River disappeared behind golf club greens and new housing developments.

I watched those grand parades of floats which filled the park in the eighties and I remember the day long festivals which stretched into Fairground nights and burger van fueled mornings. Horsham has had its share in the media and in the mundane and like many towns across the country today it is attempting to set a course whilst the streams of digital life flow through it.

One consistent experience in all those years has been that the town itself provides an excellent stage for events; it is a topic of which I have written in the past and yet it constantly lacks consistency to flesh out on those experiences; to use the whole day, and the whole town, and to expand upon those opportunities.

With the possibility of an influx in younger individuals by way of university campus at the old Novartis site we will again have to address the planning framework or risk seeing those students head out of town when the sun sets.

If we genuinely believe that events can bring new people to the town then we should take leaf out of those towns that thrive as conference locations and build a framework which incorporates that structure into a foundation to build out on regular events and to run them on a monthly basis.

Those experiences focused throughout the week, not just the weekend, would fit many a corporate event and large scale production and possibly fill the gap in the market created by a digital economy that is currently stripping the streets of all but food, drink, and hair styling. In the next decade the automation of our lifestyles, through mobile applications, will shift the focus of resident, consumer and corporation. Horsham should look closely at its own past to decide if its future is in its floorspace or its openspace.