TV Dragon takes a look at Felixstowe

DRAGON'S Den star Duncan Bannatyne spent a day trying out Felixstowe's seafront attractions - before discussing with residents how they would like to see the resort improved.

DRAGON'S Den star Duncan Bannatyne spent a day trying out Felixstowe's seafront attractions - before discussing with residents how they would like to see the resort improved.

It was all part of the filming for a new TV series which will look at the country's coastal communities and the problems they face because of the changes over the past few decades in holiday tastes.

Gone are the days when people would enjoy two weeks on a beach with a bucket and spade, a paddle in the sea, and a daily visits to the penny machines on the pier and the funfair.

Package holidays abroad have left resorts with the task of trying to reinvent themselves and the programme, provisionally called The Great British Holiday Show, aims to help with the regeneration of the seaside.

After looking round the resort, millionaire businessman Mr Bannatyne met owners of hotels and attractions, councillors and residents, to get their views on whether the town should change, and how, and what it needs to do.

Programme makers TwoFour Broadcast, who are making six hour-long shows for Virgin 1, focussing on a different town each time, chose Felixstowe because in recent years it has suffered a downturn in visitors while other nearby places have seen an increase.

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Mr Bannatyne said: “The more of Felixstowe I see, the more I think what a fantastic place it is.

“But there may be a need to change people's perceptions of it.

“A lot of people think of it as a port, but it is beautiful here with a great beach. We need to find a way to bring more people.”

After listening to a range of views, he said he would be going away to draw up his ideas - which will not be revealed until the show is screened this autumn.

What new attractions would you like to see in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk