Seaside town hoping for government cash in post-Covid recovery
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
Community leaders in north Essex are preparing a bid for Clacton to receive a share of the government's Levelling Up Fund - with hopes it could attract more people to the coastal resort.
A report has been prepared by Tendring District Council (TDC) to submit a bid to the scheme, which was announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget in March.
Tendring councillors are hoping to win a share of the £4.8billion pot, which has been allocated to support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects and cultural schemes.
The district council is working with Essex County Council to prepare to submit a bid for the fund in the middle of June.
The report, which has been published by TDC, said government cash could "rejuvenate the area, promote a shift towards electric vehicles and contribute towards achieving key elements of the ‘Love Clacton Vision’".
It also said funding will "invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities" and "bring pride to a local area as we recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19".
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The report added: "Economic growth is one of the council’s main priorities and Clacton town centre is the single largest concentration of economic activity in the district.
"Maintaining the town centre’s vitality and viability is critical to the local economy and the health and wellbeing of residents both in Clacton and the wider district, as well as helping to address issues around deprivation."
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Mary Newton, TDC's portfolio holder for business and economic growth, was unable to confirm how much the council is hoping to be awarded - but said any cash would be vital in the town's recovery from the Covid lockdowns.
She said: "We are expecting to submit a bid by June 18.
"We've got so many properties here that are going to close down and we're looking for something to do with them.
"This is absolutely important. We desperately need to encourage people to come to the town centre. I think the country stands a good chance of recovery, and I think Clacton does too."