Coastal towns across four different English regions are to benefit from £12 million from the Government's Sea Change programme. Southport, Great Yarmouth, Bridlington and Hastings are the latest towns to receive grants from the scheme which aims to boost regeneration in coastal areas through investment in culture and heritage.
Announced today by Culture and Tourism Minister Barbara Follett, this wave of Sea Change grants will fund projects to improve theatres, create new performance spaces and safeguard heritage within the seaside towns. The programme, led by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), will give a total of £45 million over three years to coastal resorts. Blackpool, Torbay and Dover were the first towns to receive large grants last year.
Barbara Follett, Culture and Tourism Minister, said: "In these difficult economic times it is more important than ever before to make sure we continue to invest in the regeneration and renewal of our seaside resorts. The projects in these four towns will help to attract new visitors and business opportunities in the whole area as well as giving people pride in their community and protecting their heritage.
"With more people than ever before thinking about holidaying at home, the funding provided by the Sea Change programme will help to ensure that their experiences are memorable for the right reasons and inspire them to return and keep the great tradition of British seaside holidays alive."
Southport will receive £4 million for a project to link the Grade 2 listed Arts Centre, library and art gallery in the heart of the town centre. The funding will lead to a range of improvements including a theatre, museum and popular music venue. The work will protect the heritage around Lord Street as well as offering visitors better attractions and events.
The promenade surrounding the recently refurbished Royal Hall and Spa Theatre complex in Bridlington will be re-designed following the award of £3 million from the Sea Change programme. The project will also enable the Pembroke Gardens to be used as an outdoor performance space as well as improving public access
Great Yarmouth will receive £3 million to regenerate the historic Deneside area of the town. Central to the project is the development of a Grade 1 listed chapel into a new arts centre which it's hoped in time will act as a hub for the community. Historic buildings
in King Street will also be repaired, and the work will allow St George's Plain to be used as an outdoor public space.
And Hastings will receive a £2 million boost to provide an artist designed piazza, performance space and cultural community centre, enhancing the new Jerwood Gallery to be built on the seafront area of the Old Town.