Holiday trade regeneration could work wonders

FELIXSTOWE: Tourism is a vital part of Felixstowe’s economy and provides more than 1,100 jobs in the seaside town, according to new research out today.

Community leaders are backing the report’s findings and doing their best to improve attractions in a bid to bring in even more visitors and inject more cash into shops, restaurants, amusements and other businesses.

Donkey rides, a road train, Segway electric transporters, and other items are already providing more for people to enjoy, while the town centre is being made more pedestrian-friendly to create an improved shopping experience.

The Evening Star is supporting the programme with its Regenerate the Resort campaign.

Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University found seaside tourism “remains a substantial and growing employer”, directly supports more than 23,000 jobs in the region and adds nearly �500m a year to the regional economy.

In Suffolk Coastal, tourism brings in �260 million a year – a big proportion of that in Felixstowe.

Deputy mayor Doreen Savage, a cabinet member at Suffolk Coastal, said all councils and other organisations were working together through the Felixstowe Futures project, determined to rejuvenate the resort – with a major project under way at Landguard. There is also a determination to boost the main seafront attractions, and there is another major project waiting to start on the south seafront.

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“Tourism is so important to our town – it’s a major employer, around ten per cent of the workforce – and everyone is working really hard to improve the seafront and the attractions,” she said.

“When the sun is out everyone just wants to get to a nice beach, paddle or swim in the sea, have a cup of tea. It’s vital we need to working together to make the most of it.”

Professor Steve Fothergill, from Sheffield Hallam’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, said: “That a large seaside tourist industry has survived and adapted is good news, not just for seaside towns but for the British economy as a whole.

“What our figures show is that even in the face of stiff competition from holidays abroad, Britain’s seaside towns have been able to retain and even expand much of their core business.

“The new government should make every effort to ensure that the industry delivers its full potential in the coming years.”

? Give us your views on the tourism industry in Felixstowe – write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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