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 62.

    If you want a "laugh" visit Margate, with it's £17.5 million joke the Turner Contemporary. The town resembles a kiss me quick Baghdad with crumbling buildings and pot holes galore, yet the council see fit to blow tax payers money on a white elephant that will probably be a £1 land in five years time. All hail our wise leaders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    Its a good idea in theory, but 29m not enough money. You would need to add a couple of extra noughts to the amount to make a meaningful and sustained difference.

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Seaside towns like inland Market Towns need to wake up to the fact there is stiff competition for footfall trade. They have to be an Attraction, clean and tidy and need to accept that visitor numbers have reduced forever.
    Therefore the size of these Towns in terms of leisure and retail utlets needs to contract to be replaced by residential.

  • 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 57.

    I used to study in Margate, and what hit me the most was how cheap it looked. Dreamland was in a terrible state, and the improvement plan put forward was an Art Gallery. This shows complete disregard for what is needed; reduce the number of closed shops (which was nearly 40%) and increase employment whch would naturally increase local expenditure and tourism rather than watch it go elsewhere!

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    This is just typical Government headline grabbing. As a Finance Director in the Construction industry I can assure you that £29 million is a very, very small drop in the ocean compared to what needs to be spent. The biggest problem is the local councils. They are not business minded, in short they have no idea how to organise and fund proper schemes that's why the these towns are in disrepair.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    29 million pounds when we are still giving away 11 billion a year - mostly to African warlords - seems like a drop in the ocean (if you pardon the pun)

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    In the area of the UK I live in I'm not far from Clacton, Frinton, Walton, and Southend.

    None of those are appealing at all. Clacton is full of Chavs. Frinton and Walton are mainly OAPs and Southend is full of foreigners.

    I doubt any amount of money will resolve that situation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Violet Mildred how I agree about Portsmouth. The Dockyard has just come in one of the top 10 places out of 2.7million to visit yet it is badly deprived. This was my point about the salaries in 'tourist' areas - it is so bad that one small area can be award winning and yet 200 metres up the road is socially deprived to extreme. I live on the other side of the harbour from Pompey.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    High taxes on alcohol do not help. For youngsters, a trip abroad can be far cheaper when drinks are taken into account.

    The youth want to have fun and that is not a walk along a pier.

    Either our holiday towns need to revitalise themselves to offer what the holidaying public want or return to being the seaside villages they once were.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    £29 million - that's a bit over HALF of the estimated £50 million that Government cuts have taken out of Kent alone, where Margate and Ramsgate are recognised to be struggling. Do the people that make these announcements think we're all stupid?

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    Spend the money somewhere else and let rising sea levels fix this problem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    One of the problems in old seaside towns seems to be that councils are run by people who retired there a generation ago for the "quiet life" with the result that budgets go on care for the elderly and preservation rather than providing facilities for the town's future.

    Meanwhile jobs disappear and with them goes any interest for the younger generation, who turn to less social pastimes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    I'm from Dover and am gob smacked towns like Margate, Folkestone, Deal, Hastings and Brighton are on this list. They have all had millions pumped into them already yet towns like Dover carry on rotting away. Brighton is full of millionaires, Hasting and Margate have both had big regens including Art exhibitions, Folkestone has had a total sea-front regen. and Deal is a quaint little seaside.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    Things change. The fate of seaside resorts is no different from the fate of mining villages. The "glory' days are over, they have to change or manage the decline.

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    Unfortunately these Resorts rely on cash strapped local councils for investment.The only investment private enterprise makes is in flats and houses for sale.Central Government funds are mainly used in London(e.g.East End regeneration under the guise of Olympic funding) which tends to bleed the rest of the country dry

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Let them rot, they are mostly horrible places.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    ah yes..Skegness - I spent a week there one afternoon!
    Cheap air travel means the days of the British seaside holiday are gone forever. These towns have to just reduce to their natural comfortable size.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    Same council has failed to deal with a derelict sea front pool complex for 2 wonder they're going down the pan....still, as long as councillors get their salaries...


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