£1m government boost for seaside jobs includes walking tourists and river taxis

Work at the international boatbuilding training college in oulton broad Work at the international boatbuilding training college in oulton broad

Annabelle Dickson Political editor annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk
Friday, March 7, 2014
8:47 AM

An initiative to bring walking tourists to Norfolk and a Lowestoft river taxi are among schemes which have attracted almost £1m from a government fund to boost seaside jobs.

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New circular walks

Thirty new short and circular walks and a walking festival are among the projects planned by Norfolk County Council with £200,000 of central government cash to help boost seaside communities.

The funding for the two-year “Explore More Coast” project will allow Norfolk to promote the first two

Norfolk stretches of the England Coast Path, which are planned to be completed over the next 24 months between Weybourne and Great Yarmouth.

Leaders say the project will bring £500,000 of economic benefit to the area through a 20pc increase in visitor numbers.

It is expected to help create 30 new indirect jobs and secure 20 others.

The project will see 30 new short and circular walks promoted, a walking festival created and 20 volunteers will be trained to become walk leaders.

Jay Formosa, of Jay Jay’s Café in Gorleston, said: “Gorleston and Great Yarmouth both have beautiful coastlines and

the creation of new short and circular walks, coupled with a walking festival, will give something for visitors all-year round.

“It’ll be good news for businesses and a great way of using the fantastic economic assets we’ve got in this area.”

David Harrison, Norfolk County Council environment cabinet member, said the project would bring more customers to the thousands of businesses which make their living from providing services to people who visit the area just behind the coastline between Cromer and Great Yarmouth.

A total of 83 jobs are expected to be either created or safeguarded between Cromer and Lowestoft by the £996,000 cash boost, which will also fund a new facility for Great Yarmouth boat firm Alicat Workboats so they can maintain and build vessels all year around.

In a further boost to the Norfolk and Suffolk coast – which was hit by the east coast tidal surge in early December – the government will also announce that the next £64m round of the Coastal Communities Fund, paid for through revenue from the Crown Estate marine assets, will put flood protection schemes to the top of the list over the next three years.

Norfolk politicians have been lobbying the government to open up the scheme for defences against the power of the sea, both before after the tidal surge last year. One of those who has lobbied the government is Norfolk County Council cabinet member for environment David Harrison.

He said: “I am really pleased that the government has today shown that it has been listening to all of us.

“We need to work on both fronts – boosting our economic resilience and protecting ourselves to get Norfolk in the best possible shape to deal with whatever our weather throws at us.”

He said that the council would be working with the Environment Agency to look at more ideas for future Coastal Communities Fund bids. Money from the fund has been taken to support inland areas in England that are affected by flooding through a one-off £5m freed up from the fund’s reserve to go towards flood recovery projects as part of the Severe Weather Recovery Scheme. But it would not affect the funding allocated to existing or future budgets.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: “We want to help our seaside towns affected by the recent flooding get back on their feet as soon as possible. The next round of the Coastal Communities Fund is now open and we will be prioritising bids on coastal flood protection and repair.

“This government is committed to supporting the regeneration of our seaside towns and part of that is taking decisive action to help communities and businesses affected by the floods.”

Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “Norfolk Chamber is delighted that funding has been announced to help local projects, particularly in our coastal regions that need help to boost jobs and economic growth.

“Any opportunities to provide additional support and jobs is always welcomed.”

Is the government doing enough for coastal communities? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

4 comments

  • In these hard financial times, Why do we continue to waste tax payers money on these pointless, stupid schemes?

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • The funding for regeneration of deprived coastal communities, and that for assisting with recovery from this winter's flooding, and prevention of flooding in future seem to have been conflated - not least by Eric Pickles. Is the £64m Coastal Communities Fund money for Norfolk and Suffolk, or for the whole of the UK? It is a very small sum if the latter. Civil engineering never comes cheap. Details of this funding seem deliberately vague, and disappear beneath the PR waffle. We need greater clarity about how much is available, where, and for what purpose.

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • ...."We want to help our seaside towns affected by the recent flooding get back on their feet as soon as possible."....he makes it sound like the coastal towns were devastated by the 'floods' which in fact was more a manufactured media puff rather than a reality....well in Norfolk it was.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • And Pickles doesn't even mention villages, so it is bye bye Walcott. Do you support a NCC levy of £2 per visit to all Norfolk Recycling Centre to fund sea defences at Walcott, or would you prefer all the people in Walcott to drown? Please vote X for levy and Y for drown.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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