Felixstowe: Resort bids for share of �23m for “bomb site” seafront

COMMUNITY leaders are today preparing to make a bid for a share of a �23.7 million government pot to rejuvenate a run-down part of Felixstowe seafront.

The Coastal Communities Fund aims to help suffering seaside towns to grow and prosper – and could pay for job-generating projects as well as new tourism ideas.

Successful applicants can expect to get a grant of between �50,000 and �2m.

Mayor of Felixstowe Doreen Savage said the Felixstowe Futures group was working on a potential bid and currently discussing possible projects.

“It’s a matter of debate whether we manage to get into this year’s funding stream because the timescale is quite short,” she said.

“Several ideas are being looked at but the yacht pond area is the obvious one.”

The area around the yacht pond has been described as “almost like a bomb site”.

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It has been put up for sale by Suffolk Coastal council with entrepreneurs invited to bring forward new ideas for its future.

The Coastal Communities Fund is expected to run each year with a fund of around �20m to help seaside communities – with the cash coming from revenues from the Crown Estate’s marine assets and administered by the Big Lottery Fund.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “All we want people to do is demonstrate how a share of the fund could help them create sustainable growth and jobs.

“They might have a plan to start a training programme to help local people develop skills in burgeoning industries – such as green technology or design.

“They might want to renovate their unique local heritage, such as beach huts or railings. Or they might want to invest to develop new forms of eco-tourism.”