Government cash grants announced to help resorts regenerate

Felixstowe Mayor Doreen Savage, Therese Coffey MP, and Paul Grant clap after Coastal Communities Min

Felixstowe Mayor Doreen Savage, Therese Coffey MP, and Paul Grant clap after Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois launched a new Coastal Communities Fund at Landguard Fort in Felixstowe on Friday, 17 July. - Credit: Su Anderson

A new national project to help bring jobs, growth and prosperity back to coastal areas was yesterday officially launched at Felixstowe.

Coastal communities minister Mark Francois visited Landguard Fort to announce an extra £1million for projects to revive the seaside.

New Coastal Community Teams have been set up in 14 areas of the region – including Felixstowe, Greater Ipswich and the Deben Peninsula – to take control of seaside regeneration.

In Felixstowe, a new team called Felixstowe Forward is working on a series of projects in partnership with the community – ranging from small local initiatives helping people, businesses, organisations and councils to work together, to bringing forward major projects such as the new pier and boating lake renovation.

The Government has set up a £90m Coastal Community Fund to help with projects, and a new £3m Coastal Revival Fund – with the teams able to bid for grants from the national pot.

Mr Francois said: “This one nation government is determined to devolve powers and funding so that no corner of the country is left behind.

“This includes our historic coastal towns and cities that have in some cases fallen into decline in the past but can now ensure that the economic recovery is coming back to them too.

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“Coastal Community Teams in the East will help decide where that investment goes because local people know best what is needed to grow their local economy.

“We are backing them with £1m of direct support and the Budget also confirmed last week that at least £90m more will be spent in the coming years through the Coastal Community Fund, which these teams will have access to.

“By bringing together local businesses, local leaders and volunteers in the region, Coastal Community Teams can help tap into their local heritage and make the most of our stunning seaside assets to make a success of the tourist trade.

“The teams can also help ensure local people have the skills and opportunities so that they benefit from the new jobs and investment too.”

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said: “Heritage is an integral part of the English seaside; piers, bandstands, theatres and promenades are the backdrop to many happy summer holidays, but these kind of historic buildings often need money to help with repairs.

“Coastal Community Teams have fantastic ideas on revitalising and reusing their most precious buildings and this Coastal Revival Fund offers an excellent opportunity to get those projects up and running.”