Berwick gets Government funding boost

Berwick is among the seaside towns to receive a Government cash boost today.

Friday, 20th January 2017, 4:41 am

Coastal Communities Minister Andrew Percy has given seaside areas in the Northern Powerhouse funding and urged an army of activists to help revitalize our Great British coast.

Mr Percy announced that a further 28 “Coastal Community Teams” will be set up across the country, with 7 based in the Northern Powerhouse, tasked with producing radical economic plans which create jobs along the shore.

Each team – made up of local volunteers, councils and local businesses – will receive an initial £10,000 each to develop a blueprint for economic growth and be offered support from a network geared towards regenerating our much-loved seaside areas.

They will now join 118 existing teams who in less than two years have helped the seaside regain its position as the most popular overnight holiday destination for Brits – with a massive 13.7 million visits in 2015.

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Coastal Communities Minister Andrew Percy said: “The Great British Coast has enormous potential and we’re determined to see it thrive all year round, as part of building a country that works for everyone.

“By 2020 we’ll have invested nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in our seaside areas providing thousands of jobs, training places and opportunity along the shore. Now we are backing another seven coastal communities in the Northern Powerhouse with cash and urging them to take back control of their own economic futures.

“We want to see radical plans of action and I’d urge these new Coastal Community Teams to go out and create a further wave of enthusiasm along the shore.”

Last year, 118 Coastal Community Teams were created, and given a share of £1.18 million to help drive forward coastal areas growth, 35 of them based in the Northern Powerhouse.

In February, every Coastal Community Team unveiled radical economic plans covering areas like housing, business opportunities, jobs and skills, health and civic pride.

This planning has meant the teams are attracting significant investment. Already they have secured £1.6 million through the Coastal Revival Fund, which has helped restore 35 heritage sites – from lighthouses to lidos - back to their former glory.

Now thanks to their success, the government is creating a further 28 teams across the country.

Alongside Coastal Community Teams the government has a dedicated Coastal Communities Fund, with £120 million invested since 2012 in over 200 projects – an investment which is predicted to safeguard or create up to 18,000 jobs. Analysis has shown that for every £1 spent, local areas will see up to an £8 benefit.

The extension of the Coastal Communities Fund for another four years will make at least another £90 million available to support many more innovative projects and Coastal Community Teams are given priority within the bidding process.

This sea-change in investment has resulted in coastal tourism regaining its position as England’s largest holiday sector - now worth £8 billion to the economy each year.

With one third of all domestic overnight trips to the coast – 13.7million visits in 2015 - there is now huge potential for our Great British Coast to thrive all year round.