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Regeneration (Seaside Towns)

Volume 524: debated on Thursday 3 March 2011

17. What assessment he has made of the contribution of arts and culture to the regeneration of deprived seaside towns. (43648)

Culture makes a fantastic contribution to regeneration throughout the country. Earlier this week, I was privileged to attend a reception in the House for the launch of the Turner Contemporary gallery, and I am sure that my hon. Friend will join me in praising Roger de Haan’s work in revitalising Folkestone, even though it is not in her constituency.

I most certainly will, and I know that Tracey Emin was most taken by the Minister on Monday evening. Seaside towns have always been marketed as summer locations. Now we have that internationally renowned gallery in Margate, I hope that he might make representations to the tourism Minister to ensure that seaside towns are marketed all year round. That is how we will secure the most effective regeneration for places such as Margate, Ramsgate, Hastings and, yes, Folkestone as well.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for ensuring that I appear in tomorrow’s parliamentary sketch, and the minute I sit down, I will turn to my right and lobby the tourism Minister.