AN OUTRAGED Shoreham councillor has launched a campaign to restore the name of an iconic town-centre building.
The Ropetackle building has been renamed Basepoint, after the business-centres firm that bought it in 2012, and the sign on the outside of the building has been changed.
But many now want to see the change reversed, including councillor Mike Mendoza, who is leading the campaign and has launched a petition to bring the word Ropetackle back.
“I love the history of Shoreham,” said Mr Mendoza.
“The Ropetackle name is an important part of that history.
“I was approached by a lot of my constituents to take this on.”
Mr Mendoza and East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton have called for an urgent meeting with the Basepoint management to discuss the changes.
The pair hope to begin talks with the firm tomorrow.
“I would love a comp- romise,” said Mr Mendoza.
“I am suggesting to put back the Ropetackle name on the tower facing the High Street and maybe something slightly different on the tower coming from the A27, maybe the two names.”
When asked if they would be prepared to compromise, or if they planned to ignore residents’ concerns, Basepoint’s management refused to comment.
The petition seems to have strong public backing, having gathered more than 350 signatures in its first 24 hours, as well as strong support from residents on Facebook.
“Anyone with a connection with Shoreham will be concerned about this change of name,” said Mr Mendoza.
“It is like Basepoint are trying to lose the Ropetackle identity,
Suzi Bishop, of King George Street, Shoreham, said: “We cannot hold back the tide of change, but to make sure all these future developments at least keep the names we are all familiar with will keep the history of Shoreham going.”
Darren Rattray said: “It will always be called Ropetackle, regardless of corporate identity.”
Pat FitzGerald, of Stoney Lane, Shoreham, said: “I do think it shows a certain amount of contempt for local people to change a name that has so much local history without even pretending to get opinions on it.”
But not all residents were so bothered by the name change.
“Surely if it is their building, they can call it what they like. I don’t really see what all the fuss is about.” said Louisa De-Ville, of Old Shoreham Road, Southwick.
The petition is now available to sign online at www.ipetitions.com/petition/bring-back-the-ropetackle-name