The Government has announced a new strategy to help seaside towns flourish by creating new jobs, improving housing and restoring iconic piers

The strategy will help seaside towns make the most of their natural resources and historic infrastructure.

It wants to ensure that coastal areas can develop strong and successful local economies by taking advantage of their natural resources and historic infrastructure, as well as emerging green industries.

Announcing Strategy for Seaside Success; securing the future of seaside economies, Communities Secretary John Denham said: “Our coastal areas are rich with history and a high quality of life that makes them attractive places to live in, and many seafronts have been transformed in recent years with Government investment and support.

“Places like St Ives, Hastings and Scarborough are showing they can thrive once again through strong local leadership and dynamic businesses, attracting visitors all year round. There is no reason why our other seaside towns can’t flourish in the same way.”

The strategy includes:

  • a commitment to work with the Heritage Lottery Fund to find ways to further extend their work in restoring historic piers
  • a pledge to extend the Sea Change programme (which has already pumped £38m into improving seaside infrastructure in 32 areas) beyond 2011
  • a new £5m fund for 25 priority areas to create jobs, support business and improve the skills of the long-term unemployed
  • new licensing rules for councils over Houses in Multiple Occupation, to tackle problems around low-quality seaside housing.

Patrick Browne of the Coastal Communities Alliance welcomed the plan. “The creation of a national Coastal Towns Strategy, the retention of Sea Change and the additional funding to address entrenched social problems within our historic resorts will delight regeneration practitioners who have long campaigned for such recognition,” he said.

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