Ten coastal towns have received new funding for projects that may help create and safeguard nearly 1,400 jobs and help with essential repairs in areas affected by the winter storms. A lido, Victorian arches and coastal paths are some of the schemes to benefit from money that may help with restoration. More than £8.5 million is being distributed to towns around England for schemes that may create tourist attractions, regenerate historic sites and provide areas that need it new flood defences.
The money is being made available from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund and will attract a further £6.2 million from other private and public bodies. The Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne also announced an extra £3 million for the fund to encourage growth and create jobs in coastal towns. Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt said, “Our Coastal Communities Fund is bringing about some really innovative projects around the country and schemes that will make a big difference to those towns affected by the winter storms. Seaside towns are a strong part of this country’s heritage and have huge potential to create new businesses that provide jobs. They are an important part of the government’s long-term economic plan and we are determined to support these communities reach their true potential.”
Many experts have suggested that seaside towns have untapped potential to create vibrant economies, suggesting that they are an important part of the government’s long-term economic plan to boost jobs and businesses around the country. This fund is supporting seaside towns make the most of their potential by diversifying their economies and industries so they become year-round success stories. The evidence shows the fund has to date already spent £54 million, supporting around 7,500 jobs around the UK, more than 300 new business start-ups and 1,400 training places.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said, “The Coastal Communities Fund is already making a real difference to our coastal towns and helping communities regenerate their local economy. So far the scheme has already supported over 7,500 jobs and 1,400 training places up and down the country. I am delighted to announce an additional £8.5 million for coastal projects across the country; this will help communities build a sustainable future for them and also benefit visitors to these seaside towns over the years to come. The Coastal Communities Fund was launched in 2012 to invest in seaside towns and villages, helping them achieve their economic potential, reduce unemployment and create new opportunities for young people in their local area.”
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, British residents took 18.6 million overnight trips to the seaside in England spending £3.9 billion. There were a further 128 million day visits spending £4.5 billion.
Furthermore, researchers at Sheffield Hallam University found the number of tourists holidaying in seaside towns has continued to grow. The Sheffield team says their new figures show that seaside tourism employs more people than the motor industry, aerospace, pharmaceuticals or steel.
Blackpool is still the biggest resort in terms of seaside tourism jobs with nearly 16,000. However, there has been significant growth in seaside towns in the south as well, with places Brighton and Bournemouth close behind Blackpool. A number of resorts in the region were included in the list of 63 locations where more than 1,000 jobs are directly supported by tourism.
What might be done to assist coastal economies to become year-round successes?