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Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to promote tourism in South East Essex; and if she will make a statement. (75652)

The Regional Development Agencies have had responsibility for tourism support and promotion at a regional level since 2003. My Department contributes £3.6 million a year towards this in grant-in-aid.

The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) works with the Essex Development and Regeneration Agency (ExDRA), as the body delegated responsibility for promoting tourism in Essex by the county council.

Initiatives that are directly being supported by EEDA include a tourism strategy for Essex which incorporates the Thames Gateway and Haven Gateway areas of the county. In addition EEDA is working with the Arts Council on cultural development and tourism in the Southend borough.