Newquay may benefit from extra Government funding
NEWQUAY has appeared on a list of deprived coastal resorts in the country – and could get a share of an extra £22 million in Government grants.
A report by the Office for National Statistics showed the town was more deprived than some other seaside resorts in the UK.
Based on an assessment of key measures of deprivation, such as higher unemployment, lower incomes, poor health and more crime, the report ranked Newquay at number 22 out of 57 of the most deprived coastal towns in the country.
It comes as the Government last week unveiled a fresh round of cash to reverse "decline and neglect" at UK seaside resorts.
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But Newquay mayor, Sandy Carter, said any funding would have to be targeted at unemployment and affordable housing in order to combat deprivation in the town.
He said: "The area of Newquay is deprived in the sense that all coastal towns in the country are – the lack of employment and affordable housing.
"I think the Government is trying to do something but it has got to be done with the local community and local councils to make sure the money goes where it needs to.
"The housing aspect for younger people is much more difficult. The average wage in Newquay is very low. We need better jobs in the area to get Newquay better."
The ONS looked at England's 57 biggest seaside resorts, based on the size of population.
To be included in the list, the resort must have a resident population of at least 15,000. It found Newquay and Falmouth to be more deprived than the rest of England typically is.
Skegness and Ingoldmells, home to the first Butlins holiday camp in 1936, is the most deprived resort.
A report by the right-leaning Centre for Social Justice recently argued once-thriving resorts had become heavily populated by welfare claimants and patients leaving the care system, while also being undermined by cheap foreign travel.
Newquay is hoping to create 2,500 jobs at the nearby "aerohub", a Government-sanctioned enterprise zone, which has already attracted big names including helicopter giant AgustaWestland.
Stephen Gilbert, Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, said: "There's no doubt that the trend for holidaying abroad rather than at home has presented a challenge for many seaside towns, but the welcome recent resurgence of 'staycations' has brought a much-needed boost to the tourism sector.
"As well as doing more to protect and promote the exciting opportunities for visitors to seaside towns, like surfing, we need to ensure year-round quality jobs are brought back to these communities and the Newquay Enterprise Zone will undoubtedly help with that in Cornwall."
Meanwhile, the Government announced on Friday that the third round of its Coastal Communities Fund will award £22 million in grants to projects to create jobs on the coast after extending the programme to 2016.
The Government has been criticised for not committing enough money to coastal regeneration and axeing the dedicated tourism minister following the Olympics.
Most deprived coastal towns
1 Skegness and Ingoldmells
9 Great Yarmouth
10 South Shields
37 Herne Bay
38 Hayling Island
44 Bognor Regis
50 Shoreham by sea
53 Lytham St Annes
56 Whitley Bay