Bacta has unveiled its ‘Siding with the Seaside’ campaign, urging the government to take action by investing and supporting the regeneration of Britain’s seaside towns.
Bacta has launched its ‘Siding with the Seaside’ campaign designed to re-energise Britain’s coastal communities, who in recent years have faced increasingly challenging economic conditions.
The campaign will champion Britain’s coastal communities and aims to drive greater awareness of the unique conditions that are creating economic challenges in Britain’s seaside towns. Britain’s coastal communities are comparatively more deprived and on average under perform economically when compared to inland areas.
According to the trade body despatch, tourism is a vital industry for these communities, “and government policies must allow for tourism to thrive, preserve traditional seaside landscapes and provide investment and infrastructures for local businesses to encourage more visitors.”
Bacta is urging the government to prioritise the renewal of seaside towns and has highlighted six areas where investment and attention from the government is desperately needed:
- Prioritising the regeneration of seaside towns
- The introduction of local based development programmes
- Investment in transport and connectivity
- Addressing car parking charges
- Reducing tax burdens for amusements to preserve historical and traditional landscapes
- Government to rapidly approve the Tourism Sector Deal presented to government in November 2018
John White, CEO at Bacta, said: “The British seaside continues to be a magnet for tourism and an economic engine for coastal communities. The hospitality industry, of which we are part of, employs 1 in 10 people in coastal towns and is responsible for 250 million annual visits, contributing £1.7bn to the economy. Brighton Pier attracts an estimated 4.6 million visitors a year, more than the Tower of London or the V&A.
“Seaside amusements are a quintessential part of British culture dating back to before WWI and this campaign is about preserving Britain’s history of seaside fun for future generations to enjoy. Seaside Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) are an important part of coastal communities, providing essential income for families, but also preserving our heritage.”
The Siding with the Seaside campaign proposes to preserve the history and family values seaside FECs represent and boost the economy of coastal communities, including the renovation of seaside centrepieces. This kind of investment is proven to have a significant impact: after Weston-Super-Mare’s Pier was renovated and re-opened in 2010, takings for local businesses increased by 30 percent.
The Tourism Sector Deal, which government signalled intentions to secure in November 2018, will focus on workforce development and consequent productivity gains.
Bacta will be taking its campaign to the coast, touring seaside towns and meeting local MPs to fast-track support from government.