Friday, 15 July 2016

"Creating Coastal Powerhouses" >>> creating coastal enterprise zones and coastal action groups

Coastal communities need support.

There are local initiatives:
Futures Forum: Climate Week in Sidmouth: TOURFISH: Making Coastal Communities Resilient >>> reports
Futures Forum: TourFish: contributing to the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan, the Port Royal Scoping Study and in particular the Neighbourhood Plan

And there are national initiatives:
Futures Forum: The Blue New Deal from the New Economics Foundation >>> formal launch of 'action plan to deliver jobs and economic prosperity to coastal regions'
Futures Forum: The Blue New Deal from the New Economics Foundation @ Climate Week in Sidmouth: the presentation

This week, the national media have covered a report by the British Hospitality Association into the state of the country's seaside towns:
Tsar plan to tackle 'tacky, run down' resorts - BBC News
Calls for government to help regenerate Britain's seaside towns | Tyne Tees - ITV News

Here is the full report:
Call for Seaside Tsar to Save Coastal Towns - British Hospitality Association

This is how the Plymouth Herald covered the story:

Call for 'seaside csar' to champion coastal communities

By WMNlynbarton | Posted: July 11, 2016

The Westcountry's neglected seaside towns need a champion to help pull them out of the mire of long term unemployment and poor educational attainment caused by the collapse of traditional industries like fishing.

According to the British Hospitality Association (BHA), a 'seaside csar' should be appointed to help some communities fight back from decades of decay.

The move is expected to help a number of towns in the region which despite having glorious coastline and house prices among the highest in the UK, suffer from high levels of deprivation.

Dermot King, managing director of holiday firm Butlin's, which has a large resort in Minehead, said a Seaside Csar would give many communities a real boost. "We strongly urge the appointment of a seaside csar," he said.

"There is an urgent need for a new approach to regenerating our coastal communities where there are high levels of deprivation and unemployment and poor education and housing. As major investors in the hospitality and tourism sector we will play our part but a national initiative across all government departments is required to coordinate action and tackle these important social and economic issues."

Devon and Cornwall's coastline is home to many prosperous seaside towns and villages where the buoyant tourism economy and high house prices fuelled by second homes or holiday lets hide a grimmer picture.

Last year, Treneere in Penzance took over the unwanted title of the "most deprived" area in Cornwall from Pengegon in Camborne. Meanwhile it is estimated that five per cent of Cornwall's neighbourhoods are among the most deprived places in England.

Plymouth and Torbay were revealed as the most deprived districts across the whole of the South West, while rural areas around Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and Holsworthy as being highly deprived. Plymouth was named among the ten areas of the country where deprivation figures had increased the most.

A report, commissioned by the BHA says that people living in seaside towns are more likely to be poorly educated, unemployed, unemployable, lacking in ambition, claiming benefits and living in multiple occupation housing.

A separate survey, conducted by the owners of Butlin's and the BHA, found that more than half of the British public have not visited the British seaside in the past three years, and 65% believe that the British seaside is run down and in need of investment.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation, nine out of the 10 most deprived neighbourhoods in England are seaside communities.

The collapse of shipbuilding and fishing, the decline of the traditional annual holiday by the seaside, growing drug use, and cutbacks in budgets affecting maintenance of public places, street cleaning, tourism promotion and the providing of education have all contributed to the situation, says the report.

The BHA report, Creating Coastal Powerhouses, says that businesses in seaside towns are more likely to fail - especially if they provide accommodation - and calls on the Government to create Coastal Enterprise Zones to encourage businesses to move to and invest in the coast.

The hospitality and tourism industry employs 4.5m people or 14% of the UK workforce.

The association, which represents more than 40,000 businesses in the sector, cites the successful regeneration of areas along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and east Devon as examples of how the British seaside can recover.

It has produced a seven point action plan to breathe new life into seaside towns which calls on the Government to:
> Appoint a seaside csar to coordinate a coherent response across all departments and spending, much like Lord Heseltine's work in Liverpool in the 1980s.
> Establish Coastal Action Groups, to develop a coordinated response and investment strategy to target the specific social and economic challenges that seaside towns face.
> Create a progressive tax environment, including a reduction in Tourism VAT, to encourage coastal businesses to invest in themselves.

> Create Coastal Enterprise Zones to incentivise investment and encourage businesses to move to the coast and create jobs.
> Invest in critical infrastructure and improve broadband, rail and road connections, and protect against the threat of rising sea levels.
> Improve education and training provision for young people and adults to ensure that they have the skills for a variety of sectors.
> Support local authorities to tackle social issues and housing problems which reduce their attraction as visitor destination

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA said: "The British public want to enjoy the British Seaside, and those living in coastal communities want a thriving economy. We look forward to working with a seaside csar to unlock the potential of the UK's 6,000 kilometre coastline.

"Our members, who invest in and operate hospitality and tourism businesses recognise the problems facing many coastal communities but we also know there are fantastic opportunities to boost these places and help revive the Great British seaside holiday.

"250 million visits are already made to the UK's coast each year, generating £17 billion to the economy. But we know there is a lot more to do – and that can only happen with a concerted effort by a committed government and the private sector.

"Together we can turn the tide and bring a smile back to the seaside."

Call for 'seaside csar' to champion coastal communities | Plymouth Herald

See also:
Futures Forum: Looking to the future of the South West seaside town
Futures Forum: Looking to the future of the South West seaside town ............. part two

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