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Pledge to prioritise flood schemes

Towns and villages battered by the winter storms and floods are among 50 areas across the UK getting a share of £27.7 million of Government funding for coastal communities.

Ministers said that cash would support more than 4,000 jobs and create over 1,000 new apprenticeships and training places, bringing the total number of jobs supported by the Coastal Communities Fund in its first two years to 6,500.

And they said that bids for coastal flood protection repair will be prioritised in the next round of the fund, which will support £64 million of projects over the next three years.

New projects announced today include £1.3 million to diversify tourism in Southend, Essex, including a seafront apprenticeship scheme, £170,000 to develop the Arran Coastal Way in Scotland, £270,000 to develop Northern Ireland's first lobster hatchery and £100,000 to support the creation of a new water sports centre in Colwyn Bay in Wales.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: " The Coastal Communities Fund allows us to help communities across the UK to rebuild and regenerate their local economy, with projects this year supporting over 4,000 jobs and 1,000 training places.

"This is even more important given the extreme weather and I'm very pleased we're giving £17 million of the fund to projects in areas hit by floods. Additionally, we have invested £5 million from the fund's reserve into the Government's programme for flood recovery."

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: " In England, nearly three-quarters of these regeneration projects funded today are in flood affected areas and our support will help these communities show they are back in business.

"The next round of the Coastal Communities Fund is now open and we will be prioritising bids on coastal flood protection and repair. This Government is committed to supporting the regeneration of our seaside towns and part of that is taking decisive action to help communities and businesses affected by the floods."


From Belfast Telegraph