Government to give £90m to help coast areas

Whitby and the surrounding area is set to benefit from an extra £90 million worth of funding that is being handed out to seaside towns.

The Coastal Communities Fund has been extended to 2020/21 with the cash injection of government funding which was announced in last week’s budget by the Chancellor George Osborne.

It means that seaside towns can bid for money from the pot in order to help revitalise areas, create jobs, and boost local economic growth.

The money has been welcomed by local MP Robert Good will who said that Scarborough had already benefited from such grants so it was now Whitby’s turn.

He told the Gazette: “The fund recognises that coastal areas need help because of the population and economic activity.

“It is up to local authorities such as the borough council to come forward with schemes that would attribute funding.

“The old market hall in Scarborough has attracted funding for a revamp so you can reasonably argue that the next bid comes from the Whitby end.

“I am not so sure which schemes they would put forward but those that encourage jobs and tourism would be encouraged. “

Launched in 2012, the Coastal Communities Fund has invested nearly £119 million on 211 projects, local infrastructure and economic projects across the UK.

This is helping to create almost 13,700 jobs and provide more than 10,280 training places and apprenticeships.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Britain has a proud seaside tradition which this One Nation Government is determined to revive so they can be year-round success stories.

“Unlocking the economic potential of our seaside towns will create jobs, build infrastructure and boost local economic growth.

“We know our multi-million Coastal Communities Fund is already having a big impact on communities and local seaside economies, and the extension of the fund will mean other areas will have the chance to bid for funding.”

Mr Goodwill added that there could be challenges for Whitby as well following the budget, particularly in relation to the living wage.

It is currently set at £7.85 (compared to £9.15 for London) and is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

By 2020 the hourly rate for the rest of the UK is going to increase to £9.

He said: “There will be challenge in terms of the living wage but I know that those working in the hospitality and care sector will be keen to make the case.

“And, in particular those working as local government contractors will need to have some recognition of the increased cost the care sector is funding.

“I have spoken to the treasury minister who will be bearing that in mind.”