Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has welcomed the announcement that Essex is in line to benefit from Government funding, which may have a positive impact on the Sunshine Coast of the Clacton constituency.

Announced on 23rd March, Essex County Council will receive a grant of £663,000 to help fund ‘Essex Path to Prosperity’. This scheme, which will cost £925,000 in total, is designed to promote the entire Essex coast as a high-quality visitor destination with a diverse tourism offer. This will include targeted business support and new job opportunities to meet increased visitor numbers and spend. The project will also develop digital interactive tools to promote thematic walking trails, highlight local businesses and sustainable travel options with improved marketing and signage.

The Sunshine Coast makes up about 10% of Essex’s 360-mile coastline, the longest of any county in England. The coastline in the Clacton constituency, has previously benefitted from the Government’s Coastal Revival Fund, with £50,000 going to support The Jolly Roger Project at Clacton Pier recently. Nonetheless, further investment is needed to restore the area’s potential as a tourist destination, something that Giles has been pushing for in Parliament since his election.

The ‘Essex Path to Prosperity’ scheme is one of twenty-six supported by the Coastal Communities Fund. This scheme, which is overseen by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, is intended to support efforts to boost the economic success of coastal areas. Collectively, the Fund is supporting 173 projects worth £178 million, and will create 19,000 jobs and unlock £193 million in additional investment.

Speaking about the announcement, Giles said:

“I am delighted that Essex County Council has received this funding, and this could have a real impact in our local area. And since we have such wonderful coastline in the Clacton constituency, I will be writing to the Council to determine how this funding will be spent – our area has been overlooked for too long in similar funding schemes. Such investment could be transformational in our area and could bring real prosperity, so I hope that the Council will spend it in a way that benefits all Essex residents.”