TV dragon enjoys the sun in Felixstowe

DRAGON'S Den star Duncan Bannatyne has told how he is confident he can boost a coastal town's fortunes.

Anthony Bond

DRAGON'S Den star Duncan Bannatyne has told how he is confident he can boost a coastal town's fortunes.

The millionaire and business entrepreneur was in Felixstowe yesterday to film a new programme in which he tries to improve the seaside resort.

As part of the show, called The Great British Holiday Show, he is looking to re-brand the town and put it back on the map as a prime seaside holiday location for Brits.

Speaking yesterday, while flanked with two former Miss Anglias on the beach in Sea Road, he said: “I am here today to see if we can promote Felixstowe and get the word out what a fantastic place it is and what a great beach it has. People should be holidaying here instead of going abroad.”

Mr Bannatyne said he thinks that the town has suffered from a lack of investment over the years. And he said he thinks the general public's view of the town is not as good as it should be.

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“I think one of the big things is the general public's view of Felixstowe,” he said. “The general view is that it does not exist with this fantastic beach. People think there is a port here and nothing else, that is what I thought when I first came.”

As part of his visit yesterday, there was fun for children with circus skills workshops, balloon modelling, stilt walkers, face painting and a storyteller on the seafront.

Mr Bannatyne described the reaction from locals to plans to re-brand the town as “pretty mixed” but said he needs people's support.

“I am confident that we can turn Felixstowe around if people get behind me and back me, we need support from the town's people.”

Programme makes TwoFour Broadcast is making six hour-long shows for Virgin 1 in different coastal towns.

They chose Felixstowe because in recent years it has suffered a downturn in visitors, while other nearby places have seen an increase. The show is due to be screened at the beginning of 2010.

How do you think Felixstowe can be improved? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail