East Anglia: Region to receive �1.5m from Coastal Communities Fund

TWO projects in East Anglia are to receive funding totalling more than �1.5million under a Government scheme to help create new jobs in coastal communities.

They are among the first six applications to be awarded money under the Coastal Communities Fund launched earlier this year to help seaside economies to diversify.

Suffolk County Council is to receive �762,000 to create 200 new employer-led apprenticeships to develop skills needed in the low carbon energy sector in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, and the RAK Maritime Project has secured �757,000 to provide training to 63 young people a year over two years to support the renewable energy industry in East Anglia.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced the successful bids during a visit to Bournemouth, which has been awarded �2million to create a National Coastal Tourism Academy.

Further successful bidders will be announced later in the year, and Mr Pickles also revealed that next year the Coastal Communities Fund will be increased by �4m to �28m

The funding can be used for projects including skills training, apprenticeship schemes and enterprises that rejuvenate seaside assets or that exploit emerging industries.

Mr Pickles said: “The successful projects in this first round have enormous potential to make a real difference to their communities that will be far reaching. And this is just the beginning with our fund set to help many more coastal towns in the months to come.”

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Mr Pickles added: “There is huge potential in our coastal towns that goes way beyond them only being places we visit for seaside day trips and holidays. We are seeing opportunities being developed all the time by new industries and the Government is determined to help our coastal towns make the most of them.”