Cash needed to turn tide for seaside towns

GOVERNMENT should do more to tackle deprivation in seaside towns, spend more on marketing and pay for buildings to be regenerated, according to experts.
The English Heritage study says there should be more investment to preserve historic seaside towns where assets like hotels, fishermen's huts and harbours could be used as a catalyst for successful regeneration.
Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: "From fishing alleys to Victorian boulevards, from old docks and harbours to historic spas, we have lots of evidence to show that people and businesses flourish in places where local character and distinctiveness are being revived, often through physical renewal and reuse of historic buildings. It is clear that seaside towns need to adapt and evolve."
The report also points out that high maintenance cost is among the many factors hindering physical renewal of historic architecture and threatening its survival.
New developments within historic coastal settings are also often a difficult issue. Many coastal towns contain some of Britain's finest pieces of Georgian, Victorian and inter-war architecture and examples of planned townscapes. Local authorities have to make difficult judgments about developments and infrastructure projects which can bring economic benefits but may compromise the townscape or local distinctiveness and character.
The report adds: "Long-term decline in some areas has also created negative images of many coastal towns. These can be deeply entrenched in the public's perception and challenging to reverse. Poor upkeep can leave the built heritage unappreciated by visitors, undervalued by investors and potentially seen as a burden by local authorities."
n What do you think? Write to Nicola Hyde at 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2AS or email .

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