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Coastal Areas

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake in respect of its policy on (i) economic competitiveness and (ii) quality of life for residents of seaside towns in England with specific reference to sporting and cultural activities and amenities. (262990)

At the tourism summit convened by VisitBritain on 8 January this year, we considered ways to help support the industry, including that in seaside towns, through the economic downturn and beyond. We will continue to work with our NDPBs and the industry to maximise the economic competitiveness of our sectors, and people's quality of life through the provision of sporting and cultural activities and amenities, in seaside towns and other communities across the country.

The Department also has a programme specifically for seaside towns, known as Sea Change. It places culture at the heart of efforts to regenerate England's seaside resorts through investment in arts, public space, cultural assets and heritage projects. The scheme, which will run for three years from 2008-11, and which will dispense £45 million in total, will encourage new visitors to coastal areas and help to support and enrich existing communities. It is being delivered through a partnership involving Arts Council England, the Big Lottery Fund, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and the regional development agencies.