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You are in Jersey > Message Boards > Fort Regent
April 23, 2004
Fort Regent
Fort Regent
What's it for? Has Fort Regent lost its identity over the past few years?

The swimming pool has gone, there's less live entertainment up there, and are there really enough people going through the doors to make it all viable?

A number of suggestions have been proposed to re-develop the site. These include a casino and hotel. But what do you think Fort Regent should be used for?

Should the site kept for islanders use and focus back on sport? Should it be a major community centre for St Helier? Would you like to see it become a general entertainment venue? Or maybe it should be turned over to private developers.

Just a few ideas

Just asking around the office we have had relatively sensible suggestions ranging from the likes of a concert venue, a national aquarium, an art gallery and
conference centre, to the completely bizarre such as a new home for Fame Academy, or a permanent venue for the Eurovision Song Contest!

Tell us what you think Fort Regent could be used for, just use your imagination, send us sketches and designs if you like, and use the form on the right to send us your ideas.


One person will win a BBC Jersey mousemat, a copy of the hilariously book, Booty Nomad by Scott Mebus, and have their idea put into a page all on its own with a diagram, on this site.

To enter the competition, please include your e-mail address after your comment or we will have no way of contacting you. Your e-mail address will not be published, and will only be used to contact you if you are the winner of this competition.


Our favourite idea will be the winner and the editors decision is final. The competition is only open to Jersey residents, and you must have a Jersey address for the prize to be sent to you, or be able to collect it from BBC Jersey, 18 Parade Road, St Helier. There's no cash alternative.

Your Comments:
The following are the views of members of the public who have chosen to submit their comments and may not represent the views of the BBC

How about a walk in freezer?

It should definately be made into the world's biggest shrine to Pat Sharp. Here's to mullets!!

BMX Jersey
How about putting a world class BMX track in at the fort. BMX is an olympic sport now and a great form of excercise.

Ski for Jersey
Lets have a dry ski slope. The technology has moved on since the old diamond shape slopes which would break your fingers at a moments notice. They can build half pipes jumps moguls etc so that it would not only appeal to beginners but to the ones who want to step things up a bit.The states said it would be expensive but I don't believe it would be. An attraction like this would definately bring tourists in from France as the nearest one is 5 hours drive away in Calais.Come on boys sort it out.

Dan Marriott
Don't let the silly old politicians decide what they want to do with it, there ideas are pretty useless(steam clock, La Frigete, more flats great). The younger generation need to decide what they believe the island neeeds for the future. They are the ones that will be using it along with their familieis. We are living in an ever growing health promoting era, and i believe this needs to be maintained and improved, keep the fFort a health and leisure centre, and re-open the pool.

Ralph Skinner
It would be nice if forthcoming events were on the Fort Regent Web site somewhere!

Mike Jones
I have recently moved to the island to work for an IT company. My hobby from north Wales was Inline skating. in our local area we had 5 small (but very good) skate parks, but here in Jersey there isn’t anything apart from the Death trap in St.Helier, now all that is needed is a small Sports hall and some ramps built in there. I helped design some of the skate parks from north Wales and handed the designs to the local council who jumped at the opportunity to keep youths off the streets. But from talking to people here in jersey it seems that people wont do anything for the youths of today unless there is a call for it EG, them getting in trouble with the police. An indoor skate park up fort regent would also make a good income. I used to drive 2 hours to an indoor skate park when I lived back in Wales and paid up to £15 for a skate session (usually 6/7 hours) so imagine weekend or weekly evening sessions would draw Skaters, Skateboarders and BMX riders to the fort. Also keeping them off the street

Andy the Road Runner.
I am Jersey Crappaud and pround of it. I remember the time the Fort was in its prime. In the 80's you used to run up to the ghost train and get your membership out to ride on it. I think there should still be sports which you can play up there, but more variety of sports. There should be some rides or some type of amusment outside. Go-Karts sound good. The idea with the telescope is a good idea. Dandara might do something they might make it something for the young, middle aged and the old. The Aquarium, Jungle Jims, The Waltzer, The Snake slide just a few fond memories. Lets make it fun again.

Rob D
I used to live and go to school in Jersey back in the early eighties. I spent many a happy moment up in Fort Regent - can't quite remember what we did but it was FUN when I was a kid. Perhaps that's what's missing - something FUN to entice the locals and the day trippers. What the hell happened to the cable car by the way? I visited over the weekend and it was derelict!!

Its a good place and is well used by many. If it goes then there will be a greater need for facilities in the island. There is a large amount of wasted space though and this should be utalised. Why not open it up to the many small clubs and socieites for free who struggle to find venus at a good price. Let these people continue their good work and put the place to a good use.

Anthony Fry
A three month training centre for athletics and sport training with accommodation included

a indoor go-kart track 4 racing pepole with go-karts

You shod put a huge shopping centre with loads of good shops that jersey doesn't have!!!

I think a theme park is the right answer, as several people have suggested. If a 'world's first', or a record holder rollercoaster was built there, Jersey would be become very popular! I am a big rollercoaster fan - I have been to Jersey a few times in my young teens. its a well nice place, but i wouldn't consider paying to go now, as there is just nout to do for me. Building a theme park is ideal. It will attract a lot of people, boost tourism, and probably increase other business profits! come on.. listen to me and get planning!

De ste Croix
Convert the swimming pool to 50 metres - so that it can truly be used for training and internationals - should never have been built the size it was -

Build a indoor skate park cause the weather in Jerseys pants stop wasting money ex. Steam Clock, Brass Tree etc

Make a good indor skate park

what are you doing

Debbie Letchford
We have a health shop in Fort Regent. There is a Sushi kitchen, a climbing wall, pistol range, archery range, bowling, badmington, five a side football leagues, netball, health promotion, over sixties club, karate, ju jitsu, cap boera, massage rooms, child care facilities, aerobics cleasses, rythum rowing, the largest childs climbing frame I have ever seen, squash courts, table tennis, jerseys largest concert hall, free advice from qualified instructors, a nursery calles le petit ecole, saunas, steam rooms, team changing facilities, propper dojo's, and more, what fool ever suggested we could put these facilities anywhere else.

Jersey people beware you will never get this kind of facility again if it goes. Fort Regent should become the facility for the benefit of the whole of Jersey.

David Streets
I think it should be used for sports still but maybe developed.

Roy Travert
As chairman of Support The Fort Liaison group I would like to thank everyone who has posted a message on this board, I hope that we can get the same sort of feedback from Senator Mike Vibert in feb 2005 when we meet him again. You have all shown that the Fort is used by local people and think it should be developed for the public of Jersey, I have checked back on numerous occasions and I will be taking some of your ideas to our next meeting and will present them to him. Regards Roy Travert

i think it should be a giant ear factory

i think it should become a giant party house dirrerent rooms for different ages more like a rave house

gouglas ward
i think it should be a giant chawallaby centre

i saw dat persons idea turnin into a theme park would be a boost in da tourism and dere would be alot of money gained

i think that it was a good sugestion to turn it into a cassino. and dat it should ave a luxury cable way leading up to the top but it would be incredibly pricey 1.they would have to pay for all dis work to be done and 2 running a cassino would mean a loss of substantial money

Build a decent indoor skatepark

David G
Why is so much money spent on Gorey Castle when it will never be anyhting other than an ornament, very pretty and a symbol of Jersey but of no practical purpose. The money should be spent on Fort Regent the place that so many people use.

I was up at the Fort today and noticed the large amount of youngsters there. This took my mind back to when I was a youngster. Where I lived there was a huge outdoor funfair on the seafront and a smaller, indoor funfair, both of which were an hour's journey away, by bus. If the weather was fine, we would use the outdoor fair. If it was wet, or if it was Winter, we would go to the indoor fair, if we had nothing to do. I think an indoor funfair would be a good investment, judging by the amount of people, both local and visitors, who visit the Battle funfair each year.

I think that anyone who supports the closure of the Fort, has obviously never used it. The Gym, which I use twice weekly, is fantastic and the staff are really friendly and helpful. The choice of exercise classes at the Fort is brilliant and the new Bodybeat class is great for women who don't like to go to the gym, but like to exercise to music whilst having fun. I think people who support the Waterfront Fitness First Gym should be ashamed of themselves. They should be supporting a local concern, not one brought over from the UK. We don't need a casino and we have far too many hotels in Jersey anyway, so I think the Fort should be kept for Islanders' use and developed even further as a fitness/sports centre. On a different note, Gloucester Hall could be turned into a state of the art recording studio and major stars, as well as local talent, could be encouraged to use it. You could turn one area of the Fort into a recreation area, where they could sleep, etc. during their visit, at a reasonable charge. This is just one idea, however, I am sure there are lots of other purposes the Fort could be used for.

Senator Nobby
It should be used to house prisoners who have behaved themselves. The cons would enjoy the benfits of intergration, skating, swimming and alchol consumption in the bar.

why have they closed the pool

Some Guy
I think the fort should be used for a shopping centere because jersey is missing out on some of the best shops

Island center of higher / further education or possibly Jersey University ??

skate park

a shopping mall there is not enough shops in the high street

Fort Regent has always and remains to be a valuable part of the Jersey’s landscape. Of course we should develop it, yes it needs money spending on it, but that does not mean we should toss it into the hands of the waiting private developers. They will simply make profit for their own gain, make decisions behind closed doors and the people of Jersey would have lost out again. The Fort can be an exceptional sport and recreation facility for everyone it can be updated to give the kids somewhere to go and something to do. Sports clubs can train and remain as they are but operate in an updated and modern environment. We are lucky to have such a great site lets find the money update it and enjoy it – something’s are just worth fighting for.

Mark Bennett
We visited Jersey for the first time about 15 years ago when Fort Regent was a lovelly day out with exhibitions nice restaurants shops and a fair and also with chair lifts to the top, it was a merit to jersey however we returned with our children a few years ago and were looking forward to spending a nice day with the children as we had done ourselves years earlier, when we arrived at the fort the chairlifts were gone and when me finally got to the fort we could not believe what we saw, a run down place that in my view was a disgrace to a wonderful island jersey is , your capital and island reserves more, Fort Regent should be a center point of the capital and not a eye saw , come on Jersey get your act together

I think everyone should stop being so boring about the whole thing and let their hair down. This is supposed to be a bit of fun, how about we turn it into a giant hat for the jolly green giant of sweetcorn fame.

Miss D Letchford
The fort is an asset to the people of Jersey and should be kept for the people of Jersey. The Fort is not just a "sports centre" it is a community centre and it would be a massive loss to the Island to farm out the clubs to education buildings.

"If it aint broke don't fix it" - 15,000 people a week come though the doors. The states are very short sighted if they consider closing it. Sport keeps people healthy, take that away and in years to come you will have to spend millions on health care which would not otherwise have been needed. The Fort is central, big and flexible. It is used for countless activities, sports, seminars, concerts, etc. You cannot accommodate these in schools and halls around the Island.

Please don't give such a valuable asset over to private development where the only motivator is profit for a select few rich investors and developers. If you want a casino and a conference centre build one at the waterfront - keep the Fort for the people of Jersey including the young (it is not appropriate to have a casino here with so many young users).

Take away the Fort and you take away the only safe, warm place for young people to "hang out". Just like the recent saga where we nearly lost the skatepark at the waterfront, why does everything have to be driven by money! We pay our taxes and we should expect some of that money to maintain facilities that everyone can use.

Improve the Fort by all means, make more use of it but don't close it!

We are already the envy of many visiting teams when sports functions are held here as many towns in the UK etc don't have the facilities we do. Build on this, make the Fort a sporting centre of excellence but don't close it!

David Gardiner
Fort Regent is not "a" but "the" best piece of land in St Helier. It is only normal that business people want it. It is not normal to let business people get their hands on something like Fort Regent. Fort Regent needs the money put into it to make it self funding. Stop the work at Gorey Castle and put the money into a facility that is actually used.

a space institute with a gigantique telescope

Multi, Mini complexes with different themes, Sk8 park for the kids which has a toilet and they can but a can of pop !!paragliding centre, outdoor activities like absailing down the dome !! Horse racing track ... and of course a casino

i have had several ideas that this builing could be used as. in no particular order: a sausage factory, a giant frisbee, sanctuary for orphaned grasshoppers, nuclear waste disposal site, a ninja academy, a bomb shelter, a prison, an international arena for tiddlywinks championships, earthquake generator, or a newsagents. As a local resident, i hope my views are taken on board.

Roy Travert
If any development takes place at Fort Regent it should be along the same lines as the RQA report. Jersey is crying out for for new facilities for the kids to use. lets incorporate something at Fort Regent for them. A pool hall is just one idea. Ask the kids what they want.

indoor go-kart track?

Jack Le Riche
Have it turned into a massive media production line for local bands around jersey to be able to record and produce there own music, also have live gigs, and many more things. Make the fort be a record lable company.

We could always sell it to a company - for the sake of argument, we'll call them Les Parr, for a couple of quid, and then they could sell it on to the private sector for many millions

The slope that runs down towards Mount Bingham would be excellent as a dry ski slope. An even better idea would be to cover the slope over (sensitively landscaped, of course) and make it into an "Snowdome" type indoor artificial snow slope. The growth in snowsports is huge. Tamworth and Milton Keynes can make it work, why not Jersey? We could even tempt tourists from Brittany and Normandy, for whom the Alps are too far away.

It will make a great dole office to handle the thousands of unemployed people that we will soon have.

Andy says hands off, it is public property. The Fort already is a bottomless pit. Where does he propose to get the money to restore it, if there is no money to maintain it? He is living in cloud cuckoo land!

Why is everyone so afraid of private money! Jealousy I suspect. A brand new purpose build sports centre, run by private company with years of experience in the business, whilst being subsidised by the States is the ideal solution for sport.It’s called PPP.

Jersey is crying out for decent leisure and conference facilities to put it on the map. The fort is ideal and could attract visitors all year round if done professionally. It can only do that if a wide variety of leisure activities are catered for.

The so called leisure pool at the waterfront is a poor excuse for what it is supposed to be. Why? Because it tries to mix sport and leisure. Now it’s struggling to cater for both and excluding the other when the both don’t mix!

Turn it into a theme park. The Channel Islands are screaming out for something like this. Instead of people just coming for the day the will some for a week. This means lots of tourists and money. This in turn should lower the price of fags and booze, instead of it only being 20p cheaper to buy fags and more expensive to buy booze! This is why people used to come to the island, to get leathered on the cheap. Bring on the theme park!

Knock it down, and build a few hundred new flats - while we're at it, lets make them really ugly and completely ruin the skyline - that seems to be what we're doing with every other valuable site on the Island.

I think the Fort could be used as a prop in a classic B-Movie sci-fi - Attack of the Giant flying saucers. Get a couple of big cranes and attach them to the dome and off you go!

It'd be a great location for indoor tennis courts and so could potentially attract professional tennis players to play in a annual tournament. That could result in the Island getting much needed television coverage.

I think there is potential to make a great college or universitiy.

Keep it going for sport and recreation for as long as possible. Then, when repairs and upkeep become too expensive, restore the whole thing back to a historic fort. People pay to see Gorey and Elizabeth Castles - the fort would be just as impressive with great views. A big NO to casinos, hotels, any sort of private development. This is a historic landmark public property! Hands off!!

Sport & Leisure do not mix and Fort Regent does not lend its self well to sport. A purpose build sports centre should be build elsewhere and then the whole of Fort Regent should be turned over to private enterprise for leisure. Casino, Bingo hall, visitor attractions etc all could be housed along with putting Jersey on the map as a serious conference venue. A hotel is a must, on the site of the old pool and new access from town (Snow hill and the Waterfront). Don't poo poo the cable car idea. Barcelona has a great cable car ride over its port.

What a wonderful opportunity to turn the site into a sports/leisure complex with squash courts, an indoor swimming pool, indoor facilities for sports such as badminton, five-a-side soccer; which could be used as an auditorium and theatre when required. Some licensed premises with restaurant facilities could be built within the site and the entire complex be connected directly to the town centre by something "catchy"like a cable car system. It would be useful to enlarge Pier Road car park to enable patrons close access to the complex....BUT WAIT...didn't this happen once already, or was it all just a dream..????

why not a high tec theme park,,,,

Redevelop completely as site for international conference centre or business school (including exterior glass lifts to/from Snow Hill).

BCR, Jersey
There is no point in making the Fort a visitor attraction/conference centre unless and until the cost of travelling to Jersey reduces (so as to ensure a steady flow of tourist/conferenceusers.) When I was a teenager (15 years ago) the Fort was a great place to simply "hang out" at weekends and very close to the bus station. The youth of Jersey are crying out for that type of facility now and blame high levels of youth crime on a lack of local amenities. Common sense dictates that the Fort should be used as a centre for local family and youth activities.

How about a much needed Olympic sized pool, with superb spectator gallaries, that would deservedly service the fantastically successful swimming fraternity, allowing facilities and vision for greater success and bringing revenue from global visitors to world class events.

Turn it into a Jersey Center-Parcs with the central area being an all weather tropical beach with sand and a wave machine. The surrounding areas could be hotel rooms and restaurants.

A cycle track for both trail riders and the more sedate could be incorporated outside. Cover the roof with solar panels to heat the water inside, and a couple of wind turbines to assist with the pumping of the water to generate the waves.

Have a Dry ski slope built outside and fly visitors in to Jersey just to visit the complete holiday complex. Don't think that the holiday camp has become a thing of yesteryear, it's just that like so many things we have to offer, it occasionally needs to be updated.

In the usual Jersey fashion, by the time the States have discussed it for three years, and all the objections have been ironed out, and the protests heard and the appeals made, what was a good idea seems old fashioned twenty years later when it's finally commissioned.

All it takes is someone to be put in charge of the overall project, and be allowed to get on with it without constant political interference.

If it's to be done right, don't let the States anywhere near it.

Tigger, Jersey
It is obvious! You only have to look at it to see that it is an aircraft, waiting to take off. I propose that it should be used to form a new low fare Jersey airline!

Randy, St Helier
Suggestion 1...Turn the Dome upside-down, and use it as a giant wok! And have the remainder of the Fort as a Oriental restaurant/takeaway!
Chop Suey for everyone! 

Suggestion 2... Turn the Dome upside-down, and use it as a combined skateboard-rollerblade park/novelty ice-rink/ speedway track and Wall of Death! (All at the same time if need be!)

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