£40m fund to transform UK’s coastal communities opens

A £40m pound fund to transform the UK’s coastal communities through investment in jobs, skills and local businesses is being launched today (Monday, February 26) in Barrow-in-Furness by Coastal Communities Minister Jake Berry.

Some 500 new businesses supporting 5,500-plus jobs have already been created thanks to the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

The opening of the next round of applications was being announced by Berry while visiting Barrow-in-Furness to see first hand how the fund has delivered major economic benefits for the Cumbrian town and wider coastal area.

In a press statement released ahead of his visit, Berry, said: “Coastal Communities up and down the country from Barrow-in-Furness to Brighton have been boosted by this funding which has spurred inward investment, sustainable growth, new jobs and exciting economic opportunities for local businesses.

“By 2020, we’ll have invested nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in our seaside areas, providing thousands of jobs, training places and opportunities along the Great British Coast.”

The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) supports the economic transformation of UK coastal communities by giving funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs.

Since 2012, Government’s CCF has awarded grants to 295 projects across the UK, totalling over £174m.

In January 2015, Blackpool City Council received a £2mCCF grant towards the “Lightpool” project to deliver a radical transformation of the iconic Blackpool Illuminations, creating a compelling new visitor experience and a major boost to the local economy. The project is forecast to have increased visitor numbers by 2.6 million.

Barrow-in-Furness has also benefited from multiple rounds of coastal communities funding.
This has included:

• £900,000 in CCF Round 1 (2012) being granted to Furness Enterprise Limited to create an innovation network which connects local businesses with each other to streamline their supply chains.
• £865,000 in CCF Round 3 (2015) to Furness Enterprise Limited to accelerate regeneration in Barrow and the surrounding areas by strengthening supply chains and transforming skills as well as attracting inward investment and helping to provide specialist businesses support to local companies to up-skill and grow.
• A pilot scale internship scheme placing young people in high-tech firms. This led to the OGDEN Trust agreeing to fund 60 placements from 2018 to 2020.
• Participation in the Manufacturing Forum and revolutionary proposals for a pan-Northern supply chain initiative connecting Northern businesses with manufacturers and service providers.
• A new Furness Energy Forum bringing local businesses together to capitalise on energy supplier opportunities.
• £444,000 in CCF Round 4 (2017) to Barrow and Furness Coastal Communities Team to transform visitor facilities on Walney Island and covert an old, derelict built into a community run visitor hub.

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