Coastal communities in for multi-million pound boost

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Coastal communities, like the Western Isles, could receive a multi-million pound boost each year from a new Coastal Communities Fund, the Chancellor and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, announced today (Friday).

This new fund will be financed by the Government through the allocation of funding equivalent to 50 per cent of the revenues from the Crown Estate’s marine activities.

The fund is designed to support the economic development of coastal communities and will support a wide range of projects, including those that support charities, the environment, education and health. Examples could include support for developing renewable energy, improving skills or environmental safeguarding or improvement.

The fund will be linked to the revenues that are raised by the Crown Estate’s marine activities each year. For example, in April 2012 there will be £23.7 million available in the Coastal Communities Fund, this is based on a 50 per cent share of the £47.4 million revenue raised by the Crown Estate’s marine activities in 2010-11. For each country of the UK, the funds available will be directly linked to the revenues raised by the Crown Estate’s marine activities from that area, with separate funding for England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Highlands and Islands and the rest of Scotland.

The fund will be available on a bid basis and the Government is in discussion with the Big Fund, part of the Big Lottery Fund, about the detailed terms on which they could deliver the funds to

communities.

The Big Lottery’s Big Fund has a wealth of experience and expertise in delivering funding and is well placed to distribute Coastal Communities Funding, on behalf of the Government. The Government will also liaise with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: “This new funding shows that the Government is committed to supporting coastal communities and ensuring that they benefit from the revenue that our coasts and the

Crown Estate produce.

“I know that coastal communities play a vital role in wellbeing of the whole country and I am glad that we can provide support for them through this new fund and ensure that they continue to benefit the whole of the UK.”

Speaking from Stornoway, the Chief Secretary, Danny Alexander said: “I am delighted to announce a new multi-million pound fund that will support coastal communities across the UK. Coastal Communities share a strong sense of place and it is only fair that we share the Crown Estate’s revenues equally.

“We welcome innovative bids from charities, businesses, social enterprises and local organisations, which support the economic development of the community.”

The Fund will open for business in April 2012. Further details on how to apply to the Fund will be published shortly.