Communities up and down the coast are set to benefit from a £40 million cash boost, Sajid Javid announced today (3 April 2017).
Piers, promenades and coastal paths are some of over 30 exciting new projects set to create new jobs, attract tourists and boost economic growth for their local areas.
This latest investment delivers on the government’s manifesto commitment to support fishing and coastal communities, and create an economy that works for everyone.
The funding is helping coastal tourism regain its position as England’s largest holiday sector. With one third of all domestic overnight trips made to the coast, coastal tourism is now worth £8 billion to the economy each year.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
We’re backing the Great British Coast with £40 million to create new jobs, boost economic growth and increase tourism.
There’s a range of exciting projects set to benefit across the country, from a new conference centre for Blackpool to new beach huts and lifeguards for Hastings.
This new funding will help attract even more tourists to our coast and help our seaside towns and coastal areas thrive.
A tide of investment
Since 2012, the government has invested £120 million in projects through the Coastal Communities Fund across the UK. The funding aims to encourage economic growth and jobs in coastal towns and communities. In 2015 Summer Budget, the fund was extended by a further 4 years until 2021 with at least £90 million of funding available UK-wide.
This latest investment comes as a new report reveals that more than 200 projects have benefitted from this funding since 2012. They are predicted to safeguard or create up to 18,000 new jobs and attract over £200 million in match funding.
The report also highlights how the fund has helped increase the popularity of coastal areas as places to work, live and visit. It has led to a rise of over two million more visitors, increasing spending by £171 million in coastal communities.
All of the projects awarded funding in this latest round were submitted or supported by Coastal Community Teams. Set up by the government in 2015, each team receives £10,000 towards the development of a blueprint for economic growth.
There are now 146 teams – made up of volunteers, councils and local businesses – up and down the country. They are tasked with producing economic plans to create jobs along the shore.
Some of projects receiving funding include:
Destination White Rock Hastings
Continuing the economic revival – a 2-year project to support economic development around the White Rock area of Hastings. This includes employing new lifeguards to encourage use of the beach, installing beach huts and renovating the Rock House to provide business and commercial space. Plans also include a series of BMX/skateboarding events to extend the season at The Source Park.
A 21st century Conference Centre for Blackpool
Blackpool Borough Council will re-establish Blackpool as an attractive venue for national conferences. A modern conference centre within the town’s iconic Winter Gardens will provide new conference accommodation, catering and exhibition space for up to 1,200 delegates.
Southport Pier and Seafront
A series of improvements to the Grade II listed pier in Southport. This will include painting the structure, installing improved lighting, and a new staircase and helter-skelter. New food and retail kiosks will also be built. A new Visitor Welcome Team will be set up and the pier will be promoted as a vantage point for bird watching.
Lowestoft Ness Regeneration Scheme
This 18-month project will transform a currently semi-derelict green space and seafront promenade on Britain’s most easterly point into a visitor destination that celebrates its cultural heritage and location.
Plymouth History Centre
This project will refurbish and create new cultural and heritage venues to promote Plymouth as an internationally significant visitor attraction ahead of the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020.