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South Gloucestershire to benefit from the Coastal Communities Fund

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 26/01/2015


A news release issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government

#CoastalCommunitiesFund on Twitter

The Tate St Ives is one of many seaside attractions across the South West to benefit from a record £36 million Government investment to boost growth in coastal areas.

The money – from the Coastal Communities Fund – will support projects that will create nearly 3,000 jobs and almost 1,500 apprenticeships and training places across the country. It is the biggest round of cash provided by the Fund for schemes that are also attracting £36 million in additional financing.

Projects to benefit include:

  • Tate St Ives will get £3.8 million to help extend the art gallery so it can welcome 76,000 new visitors a year to the area and create more than 200 local jobs;
  • A cycle and walking path in Dawlish linking the town centre with the iconic Exe Estuary Trail tourist route and designed to increase visitor numbers will receive £1.3million and create more than 35 local jobs.
  • South Gloucestershire Council receives £1.2 million to improve transport links (shuttle bus and cycleways) to tackle barriers faced by residents living in North Bristol and South Gloucestershire who are looking for employment.  This will benefit 120 businesses and create more than 120 jobs.
  • Torbay Council / Torbay Development Agency – support for business and employment growth. Including an events programme, retail support and an Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC) to promote growth in their high tech cluster and help diversify the local economy. Will support 105 businesses and create 230 jobs.
  • Islands’ Partnership receives £200,000 to grow the tourism economy of the Isles of Scilly by developing event led tourism, improving local supply chains and volunteering.  This will create 12 jobs.
  • MV Balmoral Fund Ltd in Bristol receives £360,000 to repair and refurbish the historic passenger ship Balmoral, bringing it back into service, with a renewed emphasis on visits to heritage coastline areas and historic piers and ports in England and Wales. The Balmoral is based in Bristol docks. This will create 42 jobs.
  • The British Rotorcraft Museum in Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset receives £138,000 to improve facilities at the British Rotorcraft and Avon Air Collection to attract new visitors to the museum and town. This will create 16 jobs.
  • Friends of the Steam Coast Trail in West Somerset, receives £1.7 million for a new cycle and walking path from Dunster Beach to Blue Anchor, continuing the ‘Steam Coast Path’ to attract more visitors. This will create 100 jobs.
  • Looe Music Festival in Cornwall receives £149,000 to develop cultural tourism in Looe (south Cornwall coast) and addressing seasonality by supporting a volunteer-led annual autumn festival. This will create 65 jobs.
  • Torridge District Council in Devon receives £417,000 to improve the public realm of the coastal resorts of Westward Ho and Bucks Mills (North Devon coast) following storm damage and introduce a programme of business support. This will create 43 jobs.

Supporting coastal communities to unlock their enormous potential, boost local economies and contribute to the wider area is an important part of the Government’s long-term economic plan.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“I created the Coastal Communities Fund because, as someone who grew up on a small island, I know how much difference targeted investment can make to people’s lives.  It’s already supported scores of coastal communities from the Highlands of Scotland to the south coast of England.

“Projects benefitting from the latest round of funding include a new footpath in Dawlish, and a restored steamer in Bristol that will create 42 jobs.  Overall, hundreds of communities across the UK will benefit, creating jobs and making sure that some of our most remote and fragile communities share in the economic recovery.”

Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt said:

“Backing our coastal towns so they can rise up and drive forward their local economies is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain. This money will help create jobs, boost skills and open up new business opportunities, benefitting hardworking people in coastal communities across the country.

“These fantastic projects demonstrate the creativity, enterprise and passion needed to help seaside towns become year round destinations that people are proud to live and work in”.

Projects across the South West receiving money have welcomed the announcement.

Tanya Brittain, Event Director of Looe Music Festival, said:

“We are ridiculously excited to finally be able to bring our ambitious plans to fruition, with the support of Coastal Communities Funding. Looe Music Festival can now realise its true potential.

“This particular project has been almost two years in development and finding out that our bid has been successful is the most significant moment in the charity’s history. It transforms our organisation into a fully-focused and properly resourced cultural tourism asset for our town. We’re looking forward to recruiting our new team, and to working closely with our fund manager and other local organisations to make our plans a reality.”

Chairman of The Friends of The Steam Coast Trail, Dr Harry Singer, said:

“I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have received the grant. It means such a great deal to the local schools and many local businesses who have been campaigning really hard for the Trail, and all of the obvious health, economic, safety and sustainability benefits that will come with it. A very happy day for West Somerset.”

Chairman of the Trustees of The Helicopter Museum, Captain Elfan Ap Rees, said:

“We are delighted with this award which is intended to go towards restoring the unique 1930s control tower building at Weston Airfield.

“It will further improve the visitor and educational aspects at the museum, along with creating new jobs and opportunities for the area. We look forward to working with our partners to bring this to fruition.”

Mark Osterfield, Executive Director of Tate St Ives:

“This is fantastic news. The Coastal Communities Fund are helping us to deliver the transformation of our iconic gallery over the next two years.

“Once refurbished and extended, Tate St Ives will attract more visitors, and generate an additional £87 million in the local economy over the following 10 years. This will not only safeguard existing jobs but also generate an additional 198 jobs in the wider jobs market.”

South Gloucestershire Council Leader, Cllr Matthew Riddle, said:

“We are delighted the council’s bid for £1.2 million from the Coastal Communities Fund has been successful. The money will be used to create vibrant, viable communities in the Severnside area.

“This fund will support much-needed investment in improved transport links to help people to gain access to employment opportunities. As well as providing a shuttle bus and new cycle ways, a business network will be developed to support firms to work together to boost economic prosperity and encourage new businesses and jobs to the area.

“Two new community based employment hubs will also be created providing advice and information to help residents start and grow new businesses and social enterprises. This is a welcome boost to the economic development potential of the community within the Enterprise Area.”

Cllr Philip Collins, Leader Torridge District Council said:

“The coastal sites at Westward Ho! and Bucks Mills are both very important not only to local residents but also in terms of the wider tourism economy in Torridge. It is really fantastic to receive such a significant sum of over £417,000 to subsidise the necessary repair work from last year’s storms but also fund enhancement works as well. The impact will also hopefully be felt further in the economy by creating opportunities for local businesses to bid and hopefully win some of the work contracts. While none of this would have been possible without central government making funds available for bids, I would like to congratulate Council officers in putting together very comprehensive plans to very tight deadlines and presenting such a strong and ultimately convincing case. It’s great to see their hard work has been rewarded with such a significant grant and that the works, so badly needed, can now shortly commence.”

Cllr Roger Johnson – Torridge District Council Lead member for the Economy and Coastal Infrastructure, added:

“I wholeheartedly endorse Cllr Collins comments. This money will afford us a unique opportunity not only to repair storm damage but enhance the facilities and infrastructure for all UK residents to come and enjoy. I am particularly excited that we will now have the funds to repair the unique, free, and historic Rock Swimming Pool which was widely used before it was damaged. Until central government granted these funds the Councils capacity to commit to immediate repairs of the pool was in doubt, but we can now move out from under that cloud and restore it to full use, which many residents have anxiously awaited. I’m sure they will welcome this great news”

Isles of Scilly tourism co-ordinator, Amanda Pender, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this pot of money and are most grateful to the Coastal communities Fund.​

​”​This is a huge game changer for Scilly’s tourism and business sector in that we now have a dedicated resource to ​fully ​​develop a​ an annual events programme ​that​ is every bit as rich and unique as our natural environment.

​”​The ‘Scilly Events’ fund will allow the islands to ​further ​develop their potential as a compelling destination of choice, opening up new markets as well as adding value to the experience of Scillys’ regular visitors. Critically in an environment where 91% of the population relies on tourism​, ​the Scilly Events initiative will help to safeguards jobs whilst creating new opportunities for skilled and rewarding careers.​”​

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling said: “This funding is vitally important for the benefits it will deliver to local businesses in Dawlish, and along the entire length of the Exe Estuary Trail, by encouraging visitors into the town centre and at Dawlish Warren.

“The scheme is also important as part of the infrastructure needed to enable the planned growth of Dawlish, and for the increased levels of recreation, fitness and health, for local residents.”

The Coastal Communities Fund was created in 2012 to invest in seaside towns to help them achieve their economic potential, reduce unemployment and create new opportunities for young people in their local area.

Including today’s announcement, more than £90 million has been allocated by the Coastal Communities Fund to projects around England’s coast.

In total these will create more than 11,000 jobs, provide over 5,000 training places and apprenticeships for young people and attract more than £100m in other investment. The programme’s first annual report is published today.

Further information

  • more than 11 million people live in coastal communities from major cities to seaside villages with key industries for these communities include fishing, shipping and renewable energy alongside tourism.
  • there are around 250,000 people working in seaside tourism in more than 150 resorts which contribute £4 billion to the UK economy.
  • in 2013, 18.6 million overnight trips were taken by British residents to the seaside in England spending £3.9 billion. There were a further 128 million day visits spending £4.5 billion.
  • the Coastal Communities Fund is financed by the government through the funding equivalent of 50% of the revenues earned from the Crown Estate’s marine activities in England and the devolved administrations.

Issued on behalf of DCLG by the Regional News Network

Media inquiries to DCLG Press Office on 0303 444 1201.


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