- fund secures jobs, prosperity and opportunities for young people
- regenerating seaside towns to attract visitors and become year-round success stories
- unlocking the economic potential of seaside towns remains priority for government
Job prospects are brightening for Britain’s seaside communities as the number of jobs, apprenticeships and training places has passed the 10,000 milestone thanks to the Coastal Communities Fund, Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois announces today (22 August 2015).
New figures show over 10,000 working opportunities have been delivered as local people drive forward their plans for seaside regeneration supported by the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.
The latest figures show there have been almost 3,000 jobs created, 860 sustained and 6,800 new training places and apprenticeships across the UK.
Over the past 3 years, the government has invested some £120 million in projects across the UK to help seaside communities unlock their economic potential, create business opportunities and ensure their long-term future.
The projects are also expected to attract more than £213 million in private sector investment.
Mr Francois this week saw how the Coastal Communities Fund has transformed the seaside town of Bognor Regis when he opened the reinvigorated town centre which has already boosted visitor numbers and the local economy.
This is the first part of a wider regeneration for the area which has a new dedicated Coastal Community Team to develop a long term strategy.
The minister said:
Few things beat a day at the seaside which is why our Coastal Communities Fund is investing millions in regenerating cherished seaside towns so they can be year-round success stories.
Our One Nation government is determined to kick-start local economic growth, build infrastructure and create the business opportunities so seaside towns can thrive.
We are now seeing coastal towns pick up pace; create thousands of jobs, apprentices and training places which is great news for the community and economy.
Statistics from VisitEngland show a rise in the numbers of holiday trips being taken in the UK for the first quarter of the year – the highest number in almost a decade. Visits were up 18% on 2014 in England.
The Coastal Communities Fund gives residents, councils and local businesses the chance to bid for funding to take forward their vision for improving their seaside town.
The Budget announced the fund will be extended for another 5 years with a pot of £90 million which will give communities another chance to bid for funding.
The government also recently announced the creation of 116 coastal community teams which encourages local businesses, local leaders and volunteers to create a long-term strategy for their area.
Applications are also open for communities to bid for a new £3 million Coastal Revival Fund to support or restore local heritage and facilities which benefits the wider community and surrounding economy.
Launched in 2012, the Coastal Communities Fund has already invested £120 million on 222 projects local infrastructure and economic projects across the UK.
New Coastal Communities Fund figures show that up to 31 March 2015 there have been:
|Direct & indirect jobs created
|Training places & apprenticeships
19 of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships are in coastal areas and as part of the government’s growth deals, more than £700 million has been committed to projects in these areas to improve transport infrastructure, broadband connectivity, improving flood defences and improving opportunities for local people.
8 out of the 24 enterprise zones are in coastal areas which offer incentives for businesses to start up or expand including Business Rates relief, superfast broadband and simplified planning – with a further 2 prospective coastal enterprise zones in Blackpool and Plymouth announced in the March 2015 Budget.
The Coastal Communities Fund is financed by the government through the funding equivalent of 50% of the revenues earned from the Crown Estate’s marine activities in England and the devolved administrations.
Details of future bidding for the Coastal Communities Fund will be announced later this year.
National Coastal Tourism Academy, Bournemouth, £2 million
In 2012, this project received £2 million to create Europe’s first National Coastal Tourism Academy. The Academy delivers training support to coastal tourism businesses through virtual and personal business guidance and on-line resources, coastal tourism research and development.
It has also created a new attraction – a coastal activity park – in Bournemouth, and delivered a visitor experience programme which includes events in and around Bournemouth.
To date the project has created 10 direct jobs and its support for 218 businesses to date is expected to deliver over 150 additional jobs.
Nearly 100 vocational trainees and over 2,000 non vocational trainees have benefitted from training provided by the project.
Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership: coastal business modernisation
The project received a £200,000 grant from the Coastal Communities Fund in 2013 to support a programme of coastal business modernisation along the coastal strip of north east Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire.
It has helped 98 coastal businesses to date, each receiving 12 hours of business support, compared to an initial target of 60. Most businesses are linked to tourism, including hotels, catering firms and kiosks.
National Lobster Hatchery, Padstow, Cornwall, £150,000
In 2012, this project received funding to enhance its stock of commercial species of European lobsters and undertake research and education programmes.
It also runs a visitor centre on Padstow quayside which promotes the importance of sustainability and responsible marine management.
Since receiving the grant, the Lobster Hatchery has attracted an additional 3,500 visitors taking total visitor numbers to over 8,000 a year.
It also created 5 direct jobs and boosted employment within the local area with an increase in tourism expenditure creating over 16 indirect jobs.
Thanet district council, Margate, Kent
Thanet council was awarded a £1.9 million in Coastal Communities Fund Round 3 grant to bring back into economic use an iconic but derelict art deco cinema within the Dreamland site in Margate.
The project will attract new visitors to the area, supporting local businesses and creating jobs.
Blackpool city council: ‘Lightpool’ project
The project has received a £2 million Coastal Communities Fund Round 3 grant to deliver a radical transformation of the iconic Blackpool Illuminations, creating a compelling new visitor experience and a major boost to the local economy.
The project includes innovative enhancements to the Blackpool Illuminations including new light shows; digital mapping projections; events and features across the town centre; new digital and lighting features and signage.
Youth Hostel Association (Brighton and Robin Hoods Bay)
In 2014, the Youth Hostel Association was awarded £550,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund for 2 facilities, one new build in a Grade II listed building in Brighton and the other a redevelopment of an existing youth hostel in Robin Hoods Bay on the north Yorkshire coast.
Brighton was opened to guests in November 2014 and Robin Hoods Bay (Boggle Hole) in April 2015.
The projects will not only deliver new and improved holiday accommodation in these popular coastal locations, boosting tourism numbers and improving the visitor experience, but also create full and part time employment within the hostels and contribute to local economic growth.
So far 36 jobs have been directly created within the hostels which has welcomed over 50,000 visitors. These visitors have spent £1.8 million contributing to an estimated 46 indirect jobs to the local economy.