Siding with the seaside

Bacta are packing their cases and heading off to the seaside to run a lobbying campaign that persuades government to invest in coastal economies. Ken Scott considers the task that faces them.


Bacta has been driving the seaside misson for decades and, in true Doctor Who fashion, has this week regenerated its regeneration campaign.

Siding with the Seaside focuses on six key points, all geared toward regenerating our coastal economies. And all dovetailing nicely with the campaigns currently running through UKHospitality, BBPA and a number of other trade bodies in the leisure space.

The force of the broad-based industry is certainly there and more so than most other campaigns it’s driven from the bottom up: a huge percentage of members of these trade bodies are from the seaside communities themselves. If anyone knows the plight of the seaside; they do.

The problem is the government is not really that bothered. Its response last week to the Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities was hugely disappointing. A bit like having smothered your fish and chips with salt and vinegar, breathing in the intoxicating aroma, closing your eyes and as you put the wooden fork with five stacked chips towards your mouth, some sgraggy seagull swoops down and pecks it away from you.

That shrilling seagull squark is the government snatching that bag of key recommendations and leaving you to consider whether to pick them off the pavement, do a token wiping down and eat them anyway. Well I don’t adhere to any five second rule. Eat them off the pavement because good fish and chips are worth eating off of anything.

And that goes for the campaign to regenerate the seaside economies and those crucial proposals for the development of coastal communities. Bacta and its counterparts must not allow the government to snatch their recommendations and scatter them across the floor for the street cleaners to clear them up.

Fortunately (or not?) that’s unlikely to happen in many seaside resorts because investment in cleaning is not a priority. And that is all the more reason not to let the government off the hook on seaside regeneration.

Back the Bacta campaign and do not concede to the government’s indifference.


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