Funding Boost For Lincolnshire’s Coastal Towns
23rd August 2013
Coastal towns in Greater Lincolnshire are set for a funding boost after the Government announced a five per cent increase to the Coastal Communities Fund today (Friday).
The fund, which was launched in 2012 to help seaside towns and villages across the UK achieve their economic potential, reduce unemployment and create new opportunities for young people, will be worth £29 million this year nationally.
The news, announced today by Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, comes two days after Skegness came top of a list of the nation’s most impoverished coastal towns compiled by the Office for National Statistics.
The ONS report found that deprivation levels in Skegness and nearby Ingoldmells were two and a half times the national average.
News of the increase in funding for coastal communities has been welcomed by Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which successfully bid for £200,000 in 2012.
“The LEP will be working hard on key projects to win its share of these funds, and we’re very pleased that the Greater Lincolnshire lobbying effort, through the LEP and the Coastal Communities Alliance, has paid off with additional funding allocated,” said Ursula.
The £200,000 secured last year with an additional £50,000 from Lincolnshire County Council is funding the Upskilling Digital Businesses project which will provide tailored business support programmes to at least 60 businesses, charities or independent retailers on the Greater Lincolnshire coast.
“Businesses will be empowered to embrace digital technology and shown how to apply it effectively, and retailers will be taught how to attract, convert and retain customers through both practical and digital means,” said Cllr Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council.
“The programme will inspire coastal businesses to grow by adopting digital technology and applying practical solutions in order to increase their sustainability and overcome seasonal barriers.”
Businesses will be able to access information and support through one-to-one sessions, workshops and seminars and will be helped to create networks to collaborate and share information with others.
Those taking part will be encouraged to volunteer as digital business champions to work with other businesses.
The Government also announced today that it will extend the scheme to 2016 so that more communities across the UK can bid for a share of the pot for growth boosting initiatives.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said: “The Coastal Communities Fund is giving our seaside towns and villages a real chance to grow as the nation benefits from our marine resources.
“The fund will support around 5000 jobs and has created hundreds of opportunities for local apprentices in new charitable, entrepreneurial or social enterprise schemes. Growing marine revenues have allowed us to increase the fund by five per cent and I urge projects to get their bids ready for round three when it opens next year.”
The successful bids for round two will be announced in the autumn and nominations for round three are expected to open in early 2014.
Notes to Editors
About the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership
- The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership is a private and public sector partnership led by the private sector which aims to improve conditions for infrastructure and doing business in the Greater Lincolnshire area.
- One of the first LEPs to be established in the UK, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP covers a large geographical area with a population of over one million and a diverse range of industries, from ports and logistics to farming, tourism and engineering.
- It includes North and North-East Lincolnshire and the administrative county of Lincolnshire and is controlled by a LEP board made up of leading figures in the public and private sector.
About the Coastal Communities Fund
- The Coastal Communities Fund is financed by the Government through the allocation of funding equivalent to 50 per cent of the revenues from the Crown Estate’s marine activities in that area.
- Rising revenues from renewable energy such as offshore wind and tidal power, as well as from aquaculture centres and ship moorings on the foreshore, have meant increased money for Britain’s coasts to combat decades of economic decline and create opportunities for young people.
- Successful bids to the Coastal Communities Fund are chosen because of their impact on local jobs, training and their ability to drive forward growth. The funds are allocated by central government and the devolved administrations in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund.