£300K boost for tourism in Berwick

Berwick has received a Government grant of just over £300,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 24 September, 2018, 07:55
Aerial view of Berwick.

The funding, secured by the Berwick Coastal Community Team (CCT), will be used to help the town establish itself as a must-see visitor attraction.

In total, £304,000 has been secured towards the £324,000 Welcome Visitor project with £294,000 to support tourism development and £10,000 for improved town centre signage.

The project aims to draw more tourists to the town and encourage people to stay longer and spend more, so Berwick is able to thrive as a tourist destination over a longer visitor season.

Julien Lake, chief executive of Berwick Community Trust and a member of the CCT, said: “The project is a genuine partnership effort to better exploit Berwick’s amazing tourism assets and potential.

“The CCT is tremendously excited about the opportunity to promote Berwick through a comprehensive and bespoke branding exercise, with a refreshed visitberwick website, enhanced package of events and resources to support local businesses in developing their products and staff.

“There will be new promotional resources for the town, training and development opportunities for tourism businesses, a dedicated staff resource to coordinate the efforts and allow Berwick to really exploit the first class assets and history we have.

“Delivery will be led by partners exploiting their own organisational expertise, for example the town council leading on branding and visitberwick website with support from Northumberland Tourism or The Maltings coordinating events programme development with support from the town’s existing event organisers.

“The community trust will manage the grant and distribute monies to partners in line with the application. We will also be involved in some of the coordination activities.”

It is estimated the funding will benefit 49 businesses, and create 19 new jobs and protect 76 other jobs.

“Members of the partnership are hugely excited to have secured this money for Berwick and to have the opportunity to work together to really make a difference over the next two years,” added Mr Lake. “The chance to sell Berwick on a wider stage and to new visitors will help secure existing jobs, create new ones and support local businesses in investing in Berwick.

“From the community trust’s perspective this is something we are really pleased to be part of and to support. It is exactly the kind of project the CCT was established to support and is a great example of people in Berwick working together.”

Gareth Davies, town council clerk, added: “The process of applying to and persuading the Coastal Communities Fund to invest in Berwick has required partnership working and a commitment by all the organisations and individuals to work together for the future of the town. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to persuade the Government, and that we can now turn our attention to delivering on that investment.”

MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “I am so pleased Berwick has been the recipient of yet more funding from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. After decades of being forgotten, finally this town is receiving the support it deserves.”

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She added: “This money comes hot on the heels of the £2million awarded from the same fund to the Berwick jetty project – all measures to ensure the future prosperity of the town and draw new people in to experience it.”

Jude Leitch, director of Northumberland Tourism said: “We’re delighted that Berwick’s application to the Coastal Communities Fund has been successful. Berwick is one of the county’s most popular tourist destinations but still has a great deal of unrealised potential.

“The activities made possible by this grant will greatly improve the town’s tourism offer and I’m sure the benefits will be felt by not just our tourism businesses, but by all Berwick residents.”

The successful bid is a partnership between Berwick Community Trust, Berwick Town Council, The Maltings Trust, Northumberland Tourism, Berwick Chamber of Trade and Northumberland County Council.

Berwick’s is one of 16 ‘Fast Track’ projects receiving a share of £6million Coastal Communities Fund money to help deliver sustainable growth and jobs across the Great British Coast.

As part of the fifth round of the Coastal Communities Fund, sixteen ‘ready to go’ projects were selected to start work to transform their coastal communities in 2018-19 before the main round funding becomes available in April 2019.

The chosen projects are collectively forecast to create over 1100 jobs and are set to attract public and private sector co-funding of £2.4m.

Coastal Communities Minister, Jake Berry MP, said: “It’s really exciting to see money from the Coastal Communities Fund help kick start these shovel ready projects, which have the potential to unlock the barriers to development and growth of our coastal communities.

“Investment in our seaside areas, through projects such as these, will provide nothing short of a New Deal for the Great British coast, creating thousands of jobs, training places and opportunities along the shore.”

The Coastal Communities Fund was established to support coastal projects in the UK deliver sustainable growth and jobs.

Since 2012, the Coastal Communities Fund has awarded grants to 295 projects across the UK, totalling over £173 million.

Applications submitted for Round 5 of the Coast Communities Fund are currently being assessed. The successful main round bids of the remaining £34million are expected to be announced by early 2019.