Coastal towns like Bexhill given £1m boost from govt

Vacant shops could be filled as part of the future regeneration
Vacant shops could be filled as part of the future regeneration

New jobs and greater prosperity is coming to Bexhill as part of a nationwide boost by the government to coastal towns.

The Coastal Community Fund has been given a further £1million to set up 104 new ‘teams’ to coordinate regeneration projects across the country, as announced in the summer budget.

The teams will be given an initial £10,000 but can also bid for a half a million chunk of the £3million Coastal Revival Fund to restore heritage sites that benefit the community.

Coastal Communities Minister Mark 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.

“Coastal Community Teams 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 £1 million of direct support and the Budget also confirmed last week that at least £90million 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, 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.”

Launched in 2012, the fund has allocated nearly £119 million on 222 infrastructure and economic projects across the UK, creating almost 13,700 jobs and providing more than 10,280 training places and apprenticeships.

The summer budget last week announced the fund would be extended to 2020 with at least £90 million of new funding.

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