Campaign calls for seaside tsar

Decaying seaside towns could get a tourism boost after a camping for the creation of a seaside tsar.

A report by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) claims that people living in Britain’s forgotten seaside towns are more likely to be unemployed or unemployable, poorly educated, claiming benefits or residing in multiple occupation housing.

This seems to be the evidence of a 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation by the Department for Communities and Local Government, in which nine of the 10 most deprived English neighbourhoods were seaside communities.

The ‘Creating Coastal Powerhouses’ report also found that businesses in seaside towns are more likely to fail de to lack of investment, and that 65 per cent of a recent BHA survey of the British public believe that the British seaside is run down and in need of investment.

The report campaigns for: the appointment of a seaside tsar to coordinate a coherent response across all departments and spending; the establishment of coastal action groups to plan and coordinate an investment strategy; a reduction in Tourism VAT to encourage investment; the creation of coastal enterprise zones to create jobs; and an investment in infrastructure.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA said: “The British public want to enjoy the British Seaside, and those living in coastal communities want a thriving economy. We look forward to working with a Seaside Tsar to unlock the potential of the UK's 6,000 kilometre coastline.

“250 million visits are already made to the UK’s coast each year, generating £17 billion to the economy. But we know there is a lot more to do – and that can only happen with a concerted effort by a committed government and the private sector. Together we can turn the tide and bring a smile back to the seaside.”