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£663,565 Government grant to promote the Essex coast and its coastal path

29 Mar £663,565 Government grant to promote the Essex coast and its coastal path

A grant of £663,565 from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund has been awarded to the County Council to promote the Essex coast and its coastal path.

Path to Prosperity is a project raising awareness of the beautiful county coastline as a high-quality visitor destination with a diverse tourism offer, a project which will drive economic growth and the regeneration of Essex coastal communities.

The project is set to create 277 jobs by promoting the coastal path online, in print and on the airwaves, increasing visitor numbers and spending.

The project is also designed to convert 20 apprenticeship posts to 15 direct jobs, addressing skill gaps in coastal towns. Small and seasonal businesses on the coast will also be helped with training staff in customer service and team-leading skills.

The funding, announced this week, will also be used to:

Target businesses along the coastal path with commercial support
Encourage people to undertake off peak railway journeys to the coast, improving the sustainability of local branch lines
Improve signs and infrastructure for bus services and public rights of way

· Introduce creative activities, including art and photography courses for local people and visitors, stimulating engagement in life-long learning and encouraging repeat visits to the coast.

The project was among 71 projects from Cornwall to Cumbria receive a total of more than £36 million in this latest round of funding.

Path to Prosperity will cost a total of £924,896 and, along with the £663,565 from the Coastal Communities Fund, will be financed by £261,331 in cash match funding from Essex County Council.