'There's plenty of space': Seaside communities ready to welcome back visitors as government announces reopening fund

  • Watch a report from ITV Anglia's Victoria Lampard

High streets and coastal communities in East Anglia have been given £6m as part of a fund designed to help hospitality and leisure businesses reopen.

The government's 'Welcome Back Fund' will be handed to local councils, with a specific focus on supporting firms which have missed out on tourism trade.

In Clacton, the council have assured potential visitors and residents that they will be able to cope with additional arrivals.

Councillor Alex Porter, from Tendring District Council, said: "We've got plenty of space which is the first thing. 

"We've got a good few miles of seafront here at Clacton with big beaches so there's plenty of space for people to socially distance and of course we've got the ambassadors who'll be telling people what the rules are."

According to the government's roadmap the 'stay home' rule will be lifted on 29 March, which means people will be able to travel further to visit coastal spots. Outdoor gatherings of up to two households or six people will also be allowed.

From 12 April outdoor hospitality will be permitted, which would also see attractions like Clacton Pier reopen their rides.

Nigel Brown, from the pier, said: "We can't wait to reopen.  It's been a long hard winter.

"It's been the same for everybody in the leisure industry, still spending money but nothing coming back in. 

"We're doing everything we can to prepare for the day we hope to reopen which will be 12 April.

"Everything's in place ready to go for when we reopen so we're not worried on that score.  People can come here and know that they're safe and obviously as long as they stick to whatever rules are in place at the time."