Suffolk/Essex: More cash on offer to help boost fortunes of coastal communities

Felixstowe.

Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Coastal towns in Suffolk and Essex could benefit from an increased pot of cash dedicated to boosting the fortunes of seaside resorts.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has announced that the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund will be expanded by 5% to £29million.

He also said the scheme - created by the coalition in 2012 - will be extended by an additional year to 2016. The fund is used to invest in seaside towns and villages and Whitehall believe the cash already approved should help deliver 5,000 jobs and 500 apprenticeships.

It is paid for by channelling money equivalent to 50% of the profits from the Crown Estate’s marine activities.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said: “The challenge for coastal towns is often the seasonal aspect to the economy and this particular fund is useful to help us diversify.

“Suffolk did very well out of the first round, receiving funding to create jobs and apprenticeships focussing on low carbon energy and I encourage other businesses and organisations to apply.”

Mr Alexander said the fund was giving seaside towns and villages a chance to grow.

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“We asked projects to be creative and they met the challenge - in year one, each of the 51 projects that received funding was a unique response to the challenges in that area,” he added.

Christian Guy, director of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), said: “Investment in our seaside towns is welcome, but this should be only the start. We need to boost skills, attract businesses, provide decent housing and encourage family stability. This would breathe new life into these towns - not just for visitors, but the people that live there.”