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7 March 2014, 11:32 | Updated: 7 March 2014, 11:49
Our region's getting a share of money from the government to help our coastal areas.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced a multi-million pound package to create jobs and apprenticeships in coastal towns across the country, including Norfolk and Suffolk, as part of the UK government’s long-term economic plan.
Over 50 projects across the UK were today awarded a share of £27.7 million of funding, supporting over 4000 jobs and creating over 1000 new apprenticeships and training places.
For Norfolk, that means £365,000 and 61 more jobs, while Suffolk's getting £631,000, supporting 22 jobs.
In England, £17 million is today allocated to economic development projects in areas affected by the recent severe flooding, so from Great Yarmouth to Weymouth and Devon to North Tyneside, communities can invest and rebuild their local areas after the recent extreme weather.
The Ministers also announced that bidding for the next round of the Coastal Communities Fund is now open and that bids on coastal flood protection and repair will be prioritised. The fund will support £64 million of projects across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland over the next three years.
Creating new jobs and apprenticeships in coastal communities
The Coastal Communities Fund was created to direct regeneration investment to seaside towns and villages to help rebalance their local economies, reduce unemployment and create new work opportunities for young people from the local area.
The fund has already supported more than 100 projects in the first two years delivering over 4,000 jobs and over 1,000 apprenticeships. This takes the expected total, including today’s projects, to over 6,500 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships.
The new projects announced today include:
Alicat Workboats in Great Yarmouth
£165,000 to Alicat Workboats Ltd, to construct an all-weather facility so the company can carry out boat maintenance and construction work all year round creating 10 direct and 20 indirect jobs.
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Alicat Workboats shipbuilding company have built a great local reputation and I am delighted to announce they are today getting £165,000 from Government for their new All Weather facility which will give them the capacity to build and repair larger vessels. This will support 30 jobs in Great Yarmouth and attract £2.4m of private investment boosting our local economy. This government is committed to supporting the regeneration in our coastal communities so they can be year-round success stories.”
Simon Coote, Manager, Alicat Workboats, said: "We are delighted to have secured funding through the #CoastalCommunitiesFund which will help towards the cost of constructing an all weather facility. This project will complement the recent £1.6 million investment by Alicat Workboats Ltd in the provision of a new 200 tonne mobile vessel lift and associated works.
“With the expectation of growth in the marine business this new all weather facility will enable us to have all-year-round maintenance/repair/construction etc which will create new employment opportunities for apprentices and skilled personnel alike, both directly and indirectly, as well as securing a number of existing jobs.
“The granting of the funding has ensured that we will make a start on the facility this year."
Norfolk County Council, England Coast Path Network
£200,000 to support infrastructure improvements to the North East Norfolk Coastal Path (Cromer to Great Yarmouth) - part of the England Coast Path Network – to create one direct and 30 indirect jobs.
Mr Lewis said: “Norfolk has a stunning coastline and the “Explore more coast” project is about showcasing that to more visitors. My announcement today of a £200,000 Government grant will help the project to attract even more tourists and support 50 local jobs in the area. This government is committed to supporting the regeneration in our coastal communities so they can be year-round success stories.”
David Harrison, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said: "Norfolk’s unique coastline is its heritage and one of its most important economic assets. Thousands of businesses make their living from providing services to people who visit the area just behind the coastline between Cromer and Great Yarmouth– and they provide vital local jobs in their communities.
"We are confident that our Explore More Coast project will bring more business their way, helping to boost their performance at a crucial time, sustaining the vital local jobs they provide and creating new ones thanks to new footfall in the area.
“This funding will help make Norfolk's economy much more resilient and make sure our coast remains not just a part of our past, but of our future too.”
Caroline Williams, CEO 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.”
International Boatbuilding College, Lowestoft
£631,000 to establish a Marine Heritage Hub and Heritage Water Taxi service in Lowestoft - supporting the preservation of traditional boatbuilding skills and the conservation of vessels on the National Historic Ships-UK register. The project will support 8 direct and 14 indirect jobs.
IBTC Managing Director Nat Wilson said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to integrate the wide variety of maritime heritage projects in East Anglia via the Shipshape Hub, and to provide training and skills support to regional boatbuilders, create seven new jobs and bring greater public awareness to the local maritime heritage of Lowestoft. The new services of a water taxi and the saw mill facility to provide specialist boatbuilding timber throughout the region will add a new and exciting dimension to the work of the Hub. The involvement of the Excelsior Trust, Tilia Properties and Waveney District Council is a fine example of partnership working to bring new opportunities to the area".
Martyn Heighton, Director of National Historic Ships UK said: "The need for a maritime network across the UK capable of delivering quality traditional skills and services was demonstrated in the national audit which we undertook in 2009. I am delighted that Lowestoft has seized the initiative to create the hub for just such a network through Shipshape East Anglia, building on the remarkable concentration of talents that IBTC and The Excelsior Trust have at their disposal. With the support of Tilia Properties and Waveney Council, Shipshape East Anglia will set the pace nationally, providing employment opportunities benefiting those living in and around Lowestoft, and a tourism programme that will open up the harbour to local people and visitors alike through the experience of being aboard an historic vessel."