Bid for £2m coastal cash

Seaton Carew beach.
Seaton Carew beach.
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HUNDREDS of jobs could be created and new businesses set up if a £2m bid for Government cash aimed at boosting seaside resorts is successful.

Hartlepool Borough Council has submitted a bid for funding from the £23.7m Coastal Communities Fund, a national initiative aimed at breathing new life into seaside towns.

Seaton Carew has been highlighted for the funding if the bid is successful.

The council has teamed up with a number of partners, including the private sector, to develop a collaborative bid including 12 projects.

Council officers say it could create more than 300 indirect jobs, 16 direct jobs and support the creation of 150 businesses.

The programme includes capital projects for improvements to business infrastructure, play facilities and community facilities.

There is also a “revenue programme” aimed at business start-ups with a focus on the creative sector and social enterprise to be delivered through a private/public sector partnership, if the funding bid is successful.

The third element is a training package focusing on getting unemployed adults back into work, training or volunteering programmes.

Officers say there will be a focus on construction, youth service training, apprenticeship and volunteering programmes.

It was agreed at an earlier meeting that private sector partners should be consulted to see if there was other interest in the fund for a joined up bid and in total there are 12 projects that could be include in a collaborative bid.

Further details are expected to be discussed at an upcoming meeting of Mayor Stuart Drummond’s regeneration, economic development and skills portfolio.

A report by Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director of regeneration and planning, said: “It is expected that the bid will request approximately £2m of Coastal Communities capital and revenue funding over two years.

“At this stage the funders have only requested figures for the number of direct and indirect jobs that will be created.

“The package to date will create approx 330 indirect jobs, 16 direct jobs supporting the creation of 150 businesses and supporting 40 social enterprises.”

Mr Wilson said the package offers “very good” value for money.

The new fund was launched by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Chief Secretary Danny Alexander in February with the aim of supporting new opportunities aimed at making towns prosper.

A variety of organisations have been invited to apply for the funding and Government ministers said successful applicants can expect to get a grant of between £50,000 and £2m.

The council submitted its expression of interest document at the end of April.

Successful applicants will be told if they will be invited to submit further details by late May and a final decision is expected in December.

The portfolio meeting is set to take place on Friday, May 18, at 9.30am at the Civic Centre.