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District Dispatch - 26 April 2023

Not only are we getting closer to the elections — which will be held on Thursday 4 May — but that same week will also mark King Charles III's coronation on Saturday 6 May, with celebrations taking place all weekend.

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The ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am after the royals arrive in procession from Buckingham Palace. The Coronation is a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry. Their Majesties, The King and The Queen Consort, will arrive at Westminster Abbey in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as 'The King's Procession'. This will be broadcast on multiple television channels and will be publicly broadcast at more than 50 big screen sites across the UK.

To mark the event, there are many Coronation celebrations taking place across the district. Midhurst Town Council has arranged a big screen so that local residents can watch the Coronation together at in the Market Square from 10am. There will also be market stalls and children's crafts. While Chichester BID and Chichester Cathedral have arranged an outdoor screening on the Cathedral Green at 10am with free family activities, games and crafts. This event is also being supported by our council.

On Sunday 7 May, communities are encouraged to take part with a Coronation Big Lunch, which aims brings neighbours and communities together to share friendship, food and fund. The Big Lunch is an idea from the Eden Project that brings millions of people together annually to boost community spirit, reduce loneliness and support charities and good causes. Anyone can arrange a lunch and you can even get a free pack to help you with ideas and top tips. (opens new window)

Sunday 7 May will also see the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle. The concert will also include a segment called 'Lighting Up the Nation', in which different iconic locations across the United Kingdom will be lit up through projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations. This is expected to start at 8pm and will be broadcast on BBC One.

Finally, on 8 May, which is also a Bank Holiday, people are encouraging to get involved in the Big Help Out (opens new window). This will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas. The aim of the 'The Big Help Out' is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation Weekend. There is even an app, which will help you to find volunteering opportunities near to you.

We are continuing to work closely with our partners on the recovery process in Midhurst, following the major fire at the Angel Inn hotel and the neighbouring buildings on North Street. The Multi-Agency Recovery Group also includes the South Downs National Park Authority, West Sussex County Council and Midhurst Town Council. We are issuing regular updates on this on our latest news page and we have produced some , as well as information on the roles of each authority which you can find on the same web page.

Last week, we launched a £200,000 grant fund to assist Midhurst Town Centre businesses. Businesses located in Midhurst Town Centre are eligible to apply for up to £1,800 of funding. In order to apply, businesses are being asked to email and they will be sent a form to complete as part of the process. We have also seconded a member of our Economic Development team to support businesses in Midhurst for the two months following the fire. We really want people to get behind Midhurst by shopping and spending in the town, which boasts an array of local and independent businesses, so please do show your support if you can.

Best Wishes

Diane Shepherd

Chief Executive at Chichester District Council

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