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16 coastal regions boosted with £6m fund

Sixteen projects across the UK will receive a share of £6m Coastal Communities Fund to help deliver sustainable growth and jobs.

The chosen projects, which range from a community arts project in South Shields to heritage boat tours in Falmouth’s historic docks, are forecast by the Government to create over 1100 jobs and are set to attract public and private sector co-funding of £2.4m.

‘Access Fylde Coast’ is the largest beneficiary of the current round of funding, with the project receiving almost £1m to improve the visitor experience for people with disabilities visiting the Fylde, Blackpool and Wyre coasts.

On a visit to the project this week, Coastal Communities Minister, Jake Berry MP, said: ‘It’s really exciting to see money from the Coastal Communities Fund help kick-start these shovel-ready projects, which have the potential to unlock the barriers to development and growth in our coastal communities.’

‘Investment in our seaside areas, through projects such as these, will provide nothing short of a New Deal for the Great British coast, creating thousands of jobs, training places and opportunities along the shore.’

Other projects who have been awarded funding include:

  • Margate High Street who will receive a £500,000 grant to support the local creative economy with a state-of-the-art ‘Fabrication Laboratory’ providing technical skills training, business planning and support for local creative businesses and professionals.
  • Scarborough Construction Skills Village will receive a £900,000 grant for a project to help tackle local unemployment and skills challenges. Funding will support local residents into new apprenticeships and jobs in the construction industry, particularly in micro and small construction companies.
  • St Hilda’s Pit Head in South Shields will receive a £60,000 grant towards the refurbishment of an industrial building, transforming it into a community, cultural and heritage hub providing training, office, event and exhibition space.
  • Kneehigh Theatre Trust Ltd, St Austell, Cornwall will receive a £803,236 grant towards a project to develop a centre of excellence to provide training and development for a new generation of leaders and workers in the cultural and tourism sectors.
  • Lancashire Wildlife Trust will receive a £71,000 grant towards a £985,000 project to increase nature tourism by working with local businesses to enhance engagement in the nature tourism offer of the Lancashire coast. Events, talks, surveys and workshops will be organised to encourage local communities to champion the coast.

Since 2012, the Fund has awarded grants to 295 projects across the UK, totalling over £173m. This has helped to start almost 500 new businesses and create more than 7,000 jobs – with these figures set to more than double once the projects that are already underway are completed.

The successful main round bids of the remaining £34m are expected to be announced by early 2019.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter

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