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Coastal communities to receive regeneration boost

25 coastal projects will share £1m of Coastal Revival Funding aimed at bringing economic growth to some of the poorest communities in the country.

The fund, which is in its third year, provides grants to coastal heritage sites to fund repairs and restoration of coastal landmarks. It also supports large scale projects which are important to local communities but have not yet ‘reached their full economic potential’ or are facing neglect.

Six of the winning projects include grants for sites which are classed as ‘at risk’ by Historic England including Northwood House Rotunda on the Isle of Wight, a former Ice Factory in Grimsby, an Elizabethan House in Plymouth, an historic artillery Fort in Essex, a Miners Chapel in the heart of the community in St. Just, Penrith, and, the iconic Rock Gardens of Ramsgate.

On a visit to the Withernsea Pier Towers project, Coastal Communities Minister, Jake Berry said:  ‘It’s fantastic to be able to kick start the restoration of 25 important sites up and down our Great British coastline.

‘From Whitehaven to Weymouth, we’re saving some of the nation’s most cherished coastal heritage assets and landmarks from falling into disrepair. The Coastal Revival Fund also helps regenerate our coastal communities and support them to grow by bringing these sites back to life and making them the focal points of their communities once more.

‘It’s all part of our plan to invest nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in our seaside areas by 2020, providing thousands of jobs, training places and opportunities up and down the Great British Coast.’

A report by the Social Market Foundation revealed that Britain’s coastal communities are struggling with low wages, economic growth and education.

It found five of the 10 local authorities in Great Britain with the highest unemployment rate were in coastal communities and average employee pay was about £3,600 per year lower in coastal communities than in other parts of Great Britain.

Deborah Lamb, Deputy Chief Executive of Historic England, added: ‘We welcome news of funding to help save at-risk historic buildings and places in our seaside towns and villages, so that they can be brought back into use for the benefit of local communities.

‘Restoring local gems can attract investment and help to tackle the deprivation that is a problem in a number of our coastal areas. There are great examples of restoration projects in our seaside towns, often bringing together the private, public, voluntary and social enterprise sectors. This funding will inspire more.’

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter

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