Pier director welcomes cash boost for needy towns
March 5, 2019
A director of Clacton Pier today welcomed a
government fund being launched to boost less well-off towns in England after
Billy Ball applauded the pot of £1.6billion
being made available over seven years - provided it is spent in the areas that
need it most.
And he hoped that Clacton will be in with a
chance of benefiting from the initiative with some of the cash to be targeted
on coastal communities.
The government has announced the fund is to be
made available even if a withdrawal agreement is rejected.
Housing and Communities Secretary James
Brokenshire said the money would “supplement the work of councils” and could be
“transformative” and was there “to see towns grow”.
Mr Ball said that Clacton Pier had recently
received a £50,000 government grant for a feasibility study towards its scheme
to bring the Jolly Roger building back into a multi-purpose use in the future.
“The government has backed the project and in
doing so acknowledged that it was firstly a worthwhile scheme – but also
Clacton was a town in need of an injection of cash,” he added.
“Despite the seafront looking healthy again
after private and public investment we could certainly do with a boost to see
our town grow.
“We have been dealt a blow with the loss of a
number of key stores in the town centre such as Marks and Spencer.
“Tendring District Council (TDC) is working
hard to support and encourage businesses both in and into the area, and extra government
funding could certainly be used to supplement that work. I would say we are a
needy town – and I am sure that a number of ideas could be put forward.”
Mr Ball said that a further grant for the Pier
to help take its plans for the Jolly Roger to the next stage would certainly be
appreciated. The aim is to regenerate the structure’s oldest building.
The aim is to use it for sporting, business
and community events which would attract more visitors to the town and increase
income to the area.
“We will be watching this closely and will be
happy to talk with TDC – as I am sure will many other businesses keen to
benefit if the chance arises,” he added.