Seaside towns regeneration fund to be extended

Hastings Pier A project to restore Hastings pier was among previous successful bidders for cash

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Seaside towns are being invited to bid for money from a £29m funding pot aimed at boosting deprived areas.

The government says its Coastal Communities Fund is being extended to 2014-15, due to rising marine revenue.

It is backed by revenue from offshore wind farms, tidal power and other marine activity.

Previous bids have included a project to make Wadebridge, Cornwall, Britain's first solar-powered town and a new harbour on Barra, in the Western Isles.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said the fund was "giving our seaside towns and villages a real chance to grow as the nation benefits from our marine resources".

He said the fund would help create hundreds of opportunities for local apprentices and support jobs and businesses in the areas.

Earlier this month, the Centre for Social Justice think tank warned that some seaside towns in England and Wales were stuck in a cycle of poverty and suffering "severe social breakdown".


And figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week suggested 25 out of 31 "larger" English seaside towns had above-average levels of deprivation, including Skegness, Blackpool, Clacton and Hastings.

Blackpool, which attracts more visitors per year than any other UK coastal town, had the highest level of deprivation among the larger English seaside destinations in 2010, the ONS figures suggested.

Health and disability were the biggest areas of deprivation in the seaside towns.

Among the six towns which bucked the trend were Poole and Christchurch in Dorset and Bognor Regis in West Sussex.

The Coastal Communities Fund was set up in 2012 to try to boost deprived seaside towns and villages and will now be extended by a year. The government says the idea is to help coastal towns to create new business opportunities, jobs and skills that will benefit the area.

The money behind it comes from the Crown Estates, which own the rights to fish-farms, wind farms, ports and marinas. Successful bidders are given money equivalent to 50% of revenues generated from things like offshore wind and tidal power and ship moorings in the area.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    As a Hastings resident: first, the figures date from 2010, since when the town has made considerable progress. Secondly, the needs of tourists are more diverse nowadays than they used to be. Third, efforts to improve are not helped by social dumping by London councils. Fourth, rail and road access remain poor and hinder investment. But it's a great place, as people are beginning to see.

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    These places no longer offer the attraction they used to. Foreign travel is relatively cheap and offers a better overall experience. Why pump money into something that is already on life support? It's a bit like the recent article on the Welsh Valleys - there's nothing left there, so support people in moving on rather than waste it sustaining the problem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    the efforts to revive Margate are pathetic - why on earth would I want to see some pretentious art in a cheap and cheerful place like Margate. Its demographic was and still is - the less well off in the south east - but it completely fails to cater even for this now. The money should be spent re-building the amusement park that burned down - that is what people go for - not to look at art!

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    Of course the sea side towns are run down, because their main industries, which originally financed the towns, have been destroyed.
    In many sea-side towns, tourism was an `add-on` industry; it`s not an industry that can support the whole financial structure on its own.

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    What these places need are jobs and a more diverse economy away from saesonal work.


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