News story

Twelve coastal towns to boost their local economies

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The first pioneering towns to pilot dedicated coastal teams that will kick-start local economies and create jobs have been announced.

Twelve coastal communities from Penzance to North Tyneside will set up teams to drive forward their long-term vision to revitalise their area and make the most of its potential to create new businesses.

Coastal towns and villages often have individual projects underway that seek to boost the local economy – such as a publicly funded skills scheme, a high street revival programme or plans by the council – but they can often work in isolation.

These teams will bring all these elements together and ensure that for the first time local people, councils and businesses are coordinated in tackling the specific challenges each place faces and developing a strategy for future success.

Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt:

Supporting seaside towns 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.

These coastal teams will be crucial in driving forward ideas, harnessing local expertise and tapping into new business opportunities which will benefit the entire community. This includes taking advantage of our new heritage revival fund to boost neglected coastal assets and attract private investment.

I urge other seaside towns to come forward and create one of these new innovative, forward-thinking teams to ensure they make the most of their potential.

Listen to Penny Mordaunt on coastal town teams

Along with each being awarded £10,000 to kick-start work, the teams will also be able to bid for a share of the new £3 million coastal revival fund to support or restore local heritage and facilities which benefit the wider community and the surrounding economy.

More details of how other areas can become a Coastal Community Team have been published today (20 March 2015).

The coastal teams build on the hugely successful town team model for high streets which is successfully revitalising town centres across the country and will receive advice and support from the Coastal Communities Alliance.

Nicola Radford from the Coastal Communities Alliance said:

This is excellent news and the Alliance is delighted to play a key role in leading the Coastal Community Teams programme. This programme recognises the important role local communities play in attracting visitors and investment to coastal areas. I look forward to seeing the innovative ideas and successful initiatives that will arise from the creation of these teams.

The pioneering coastal teams are:

  • Blackpool council, Lancashire: the Blackpool Coastal Communities Team will comprise of public, private and community groups. It will also support delivery of the Coastal Communities Funded “LightPool” scheme which will deliver a major impact on the visitor economy offer and support the retail sector

  • Brighton and Hove Seafront, East Sussex: the Coastal Communities Team will bring together public, private and business expertise to support the city council in developing a new Seafront Investment Plan that will help the seafront fulfil its potential and benefit the city as a whole

  • Eastbourne, East Sussex: the Coastal Community Team will build on the significant momentum already developed to enhance the economic, environmental and social regeneration of the town; the council is keen to work with the team delivering overarching projects that contribute to these regeneration objectives

  • Felixstowe, Suffolk Coastal district council: will engage existing community networks and groups around a holistic, place-based plan to achieve a true sustainable community and include the development of key heritage assets within the town

  • North Shields Fish Quay, North Tyneside Council: the grant will be utilised initially to refresh existing partnerships as well as bring together key partners, who will use their knowledge and expertise to deliver the Fish Quay vision for the area

  • Hull City Centre, Kingston upon Hull city council: the Coastal Community Team will build on existing partnerships and have a vital role in providing a strategic overview, boosting the local economy and reviving the heritage of the local area

  • Ipswich, Suffolk: the Coastal Communities team has identified 9 priorities and will work with all their key partners to achieve their ambition of Ipswich being represented as East Anglia’s premier waterfront town

  • Jaywick, Tendring district council: the Coastal Communities Team will ensure that through the development of both emerging and existing partnerships, community lead regeneration will generate much needed economic stimulation and improvements to infrastructure

  • Lincolnshire county council: the Coastal Communities Team will work with businesses and communities near the 2 new visitor centres and the Seal Colony in the North to tap into this expanding market and help them to provide quality facilities, develop their marketing offer, and increase footfall

  • Lowestoft: The Coastal Communities Team will complement existing partnerships which are tackling the town’s key challenges and will support the development of key heritage and cultural assets in the town such as the East of England Park at the UK’s most easterly point.

  • Penzance, Cornwall council: Penzance Coastal Community Team will support delivery of key regeneration projects and build on the initial Coastal Community Fund investment in Jubilee Pool and trigger wider economic and physical regeneration of key sites across Penzance

  • Redcar-Coatham, Redcar and Cleveland borough council: The Coastal Communities Team will foster long-term, community-led regeneration. The area is currently investigating how a Community Plan can be delivered which combines a strategic plan for local growth with the active participation of the local population

The government is committed to supporting coastal communities and our £116 million Coastal Communities Fund is funding 211 projects across the UK. The fund is creating almost 12,400 jobs and providing more than 6,000 training places and apprenticeships.

The latest project to receive funding was today revealed to be Lancashire council which will receive £240,000 to unlock the heritage potential of Lancaster’s historic St George’s Quay. The funding will be used to restore the cobbled surface around the historic eighteenth century warehouses and providing links to heritage sites like Lancaster Castle and green spaces in the city centre.

19 of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are in coastal areas and as part of the government’s growth deals, over £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. Coastal enterprise zones have delivered over 5,300 jobs to date and helped to secure nearly £275 million of private sector investment to coastal areas. Two new additional enterprise zones in coastal areas – Blackpool and Plymouth – were announced in the Budget.

Further information

Details of how to apply to be a Coastal Community Team have been published today. Further information about the Coastal Revival Fund will be published soon but to find out more or to register your interest, please email coastalcommunities@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

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.

See the first Coastal Communities Fund Annual report.

The National Piers Society has produced a list of piers including those that could benefit from the Coastal Revival Fund.

List of piers (PDF, 201KB, 1 page)

The fund and coastal teams complement our work to put communities in the driving seat and in greater control of their local area. Our community rights support package will see even more communities take action - from people running their local pub and protecting other treasured assets through to ambitious plans that will bring new development, new jobs and better targeted services.

Public affection for our coastal heritage was demonstrated by the overwhelming response to our historic coast photo competition which saw more than 1,000 photo enthusiasts enter by tweeting a photograph of a local heritage site known for its cultural significance, unusual architecture, or contemporary use.

More than 11,000 people voted across 24 shortlisted snaps and Grange-over-Sands Lido was crowned the winner. See more information.

See the interactive map of the top 10 entries.

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