Blackpool’s iconic illuminations are one of many seaside attractions across England to benefit from a record £36 million government investment to boost growth in coastal areas.
The money - from the Coastal Communities Fund - will support projects that will create nearly 3,000 jobs and almost 1,500 apprenticeships and training places. It is the biggest round of cash provided by the Fund for schemes that are also attracting £36 million in additional financing.
Projects to benefit include:
Blackpool’s world famous illuminations receive nearly £2 million to help create new light shows that will become a major tourist attraction and create and support nearly 550 new jobs
Tate St Ives will get £3.8 million to help extend the art gallery so it can welcome 76,000 new visitors a year to the area and create more than 200 local jobs
a cycle and walking path in Dawlish linking the town centre with the iconic Exe Estuary Trail tourist route and designed to increase visitor numbers will receive £1.3 million and create more than 35 local jobs
Scarborough’s historic market will get £2.7 million to refurbish the market and create space for 30 new businesses creating more than 80 jobs and apprenticeships
Supporting coastal communities to unlock their enormous potential, boost local economies and contribute to the wider area is an important part of the government’s long-term economic plan.
Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:
I created the Coastal Communities Fund because, as someone who grew up on a small island, I know how much difference targeted investment can make to people’s lives. It’s already supported scores of coastal communities from the Highlands of Scotland to the south coast of England.
Projects benefitting from the latest round of funding include a new Submarine Museum in Helensburgh, and a restored harbour at Carbost in Skye. Overall, hundreds of communities across the UK will benefit, creating jobs and making sure that some of our most remote and fragile communities share in the economic recovery.
Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt said:
Backing our coastal towns so they can rise up and drive forward their local economies is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain. This money will help create jobs, boost skills and open up new business opportunities, benefitting hardworking people in coastal communities across the country.
These fantastic projects demonstrate the creativity, enterprise and passion needed to help seaside towns become year round destinations that people are proud to live and work in.
More than £90 million has been allocated by the Coastal Communities Fund to projects around England’s coast, in total these will create more than 11,000 jobs, provide over 5,000 training places and apprenticeships for young people and attract more than £128 million in other investment.
The Coastal Communities Fund was created in 2012 to invest in seaside towns to help them achieve their economic potential, reduce unemployment and create new opportunities for young people in their local area.
Today’s announcement brings the total of the Coastal Communities Fund spending to £116 million. Across the UK, it is funding 211 projects, which will create almost 12,400 jobs and provide over 6,000 training places and apprenticeships. The programme’s first annual report is published today.
Other projects which will create a number of direct and indirect jobs include:
Furness Enterprise, Barrow in Furness receives £865,000 to provide business support and training to improve so local companies can take advantage of future business opportunities. This will create and support more than 255 jobs.
Redcar and Cleveland borough council receives £900,000 to create a catering academy which will provide training, including apprenticeships, at the Pavilion at Kirkleatham in Redcar. This will create 55 jobs and create 64 apprenticeships and 300 training places.
South Gloucestershire council receives £1.2 million to improve transport links (shuttle bus and cycleways) to address barriers faced by residents living in north Bristol and south Gloucestershire who are looking for employment. This will benefit 120 businesses and create more than 120 jobs.
Hastings borough council receives £500,000 to improve the seafront and visitor attractions and amenities in Hastings, including bikes to hire, improved signage, information walks and trails and landscaping. It will create 260 jobs.
Suffolk Coastal district council receives £490,000 to improve skills in tourism along the Suffolk coast and expand visitor facilities, including improving a section of the Suffolk Coast Path Network between Southwold and Covehithe, develop food tourism, installing a sculptural viewing platform at Snape Maltings and establishing a film festival. This will create 18 jobs.
The Conservation Volunteers receives £360,000 to improve the Solent Way coastal path through Hampshire, develop nearby routes and better signage. This will create 8 jobs.
Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company, near Brighton, receives £2.3 million to restore the Grade II* listed lido to create a year-round tourist and leisure destination, community hub and heritage centre. This will create 60 jobs.
Lincolnshire county council receives £1.7 million for 2 new visitor centres on the Lincolnshire coast - at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve and at Chapel St Leonards – both severely damaged by flooding and the winter storms in 2013 to 2014. The latter visitor centre will include gallery facilities. These centres will create 43 jobs.
South Tyneside council receives £1.5 million to improve the access and public space between the south and north promenades on South Shields Foreshore by upgrading of public realm. This will create up to 52 jobs.
Torbay EDC receives £1.6 million to support an Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC) which will promote growth in their high tech cluster and help diversify the local economy. It will support 105 businesses and create 230 jobs.
Islands Partnership receives £200,000 to grow the tourism economy of the Isles of Scilly by developing event led tourism, improving local supply chains and volunteering. This will create 12 jobs.
MV Balmoral Fund Ltd in Bristol receives £344,000 to repair and refurbish the historic passenger ship Balmoral, bringing it back into service, with a renewed emphasis on visits to heritage coastline areas and historic piers and ports in England and Wales. The Balmoral is based in Bristol docks. This will create 42 jobs.
Copeland borough council receives £900,000 to improve tourism by developing the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven, Cumbria, and include a conference and learning centre. This will create 17 jobs.
North Norfolk Railway receives £497,000 to improve facilities at on the railway (specifically Sheringham Station) to respond to increasing visitor numbers. This will benefit 90 local businesses and create 34 jobs.
North Tyneside council receives £2 million to help with the regeneration of Whitley Bay including the final restoration of the Grade II listed Spanish City Dome, bringing the building into use for commercial and leisure based businesses. The refurbished building will be home to 69 jobs.
South Ribble borough council receives £131,000 to regenerate an under used stretch of the Ribble coastline, near Preston, by improving parking and supporting a new village market and events organisation. This will create 35 jobs.
Gravesham borough council receives £1.8 million to refurbish and revitalise Gravesend’s Borough Charter Market to transform it into a retail centre for creative businesses and services. This will benefit 40 local businesses and create 35 jobs.
Port of Blyth in Northumberland receives £500,000 to create a modern vocational centre for engineering and offshore training, as well as training in water sports for visitors and local community organisations, in Blyth. This will create 7 jobs.
The British Rotorcraft Museum in Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset receives £138,000 to improve facilities at the British Rotorcraft and Avon Air Collection to attract new visitors to the museum and town. This will create 16 jobs.
Worthing council, West Sussex receives £245,000 to establish a creative hub in Worthing, providing affordable workspace for the creative community and business support. This will create 22 jobs.
Sunderland City council receives £540,000 to create a year round programme of events and attractions at Sunderland seafront to attract more visitors and improve infrastructure and training for local businesses. This will support 60 local businesses and create 38 jobs.
North York Moors National Park Authority receives £455,000 to boost tourism along the North York Moors Park’s coastal parishes by showcasing nature, fishing and culinary heritage as well as arts and traditional crafts. Local business will receive support through skills development, workshops, and mentoring. This will support 100 businesses and create 85 jobs.
Seaham Marina Community Interest Company in Durham receives £1.7 million to continue the regeneration of Seaham by creating new watersports facilities, improved boatyard facilities with 23 extra berths, and improved access to the beach and local amenities. This will create 70 jobs.
Friends of the Steam Coast Trail in West Somerset, receives £637,000 for a new cycle and walking path from Dunster Beach to Blue Anchor, continuing the ‘Steam Coast Path’ to attract more visitors. This will create 100 jobs.
East Riding of Yorkshire council receives £476,000 to provide business advice to 5 villages on the Humber coast to boost tourism, improve flood defence and offer business support. This will create 24 jobs.
Thanet district council in Kent receives £247,000 to develop tourism along Thanet’s coast in Margate by supporting events and promoting heritage. This will create 15 jobs.
Eastbourne borough council in East Sussex receives £1.8 million to regenerate the Devonshire Ward in Eastbourne by developing new leisure and business facilities, improving the public realm and promoting local artists and providing training. This will create 118 jobs.
Maldon district council in Essex receives £292,000 to support coastal tourist along the Dengie Peninsula and Maldon District coastline (near Chelmsford) by developing a coastal trail, putting on events and improving facilities, including links to RSPB’s Wallasey Island Wild Coast Project. This will create 38 jobs.
Looe Music Festival in Cornwall receives £149,000 to develop cultural tourism in Looe (south Cornwall coast) and addressing seasonality by supporting a volunteer-led annual autumn festival. This will create 65 jobs.
Torridge district council in Devon receives £417,000 to improve the public realm of the coastal resorts of Westward Ho and Bucks Mills (North Devon coast) following storm damage and introduce a programme of business support. This will create 43 jobs.
Morecambe Bay Partnership in Lancashire receives £297,000 to improve visitor facilities at Morecambe Bay, including a new visitor hub and cycling infrastructure. This will create 10 jobs.
Great Yarmouth borough council, Norfolk receives £650,000 to provide business advice, training and job networking opportunities and support jobs. This will create and support 154 jobs.
More than 11 million people live in coastal communities from major cities to seaside villages with key industries for these communities include fishing, shipping and renewable energy alongside tourism.
There are around 250,000 people working in seaside tourism in more than 150 resorts which contribute £4 billion to the UK economy.
In 2013, 18.6 million overnight trips were taken by British residents to the seaside in England spending £3.9 billion. There were a further 128 million day visits spending £4.5 billion.
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.
(Photo above by Steve Cadman on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons).