A Seaside Tsar should be appointed to help Britain's seaside towns according to new research which paints a grim picture of the problems facing many coastal communities.
The report, commissioned by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), says that people living in seaside towns are more likely to be poorly educated, unemployed or lacking in ambition.
A separate survey, conducted by the owners of Butlin's and the BHA , found that more than half of the British public have not visited the British seaside in the past three years, and 65% believe that the British seaside is run down and in need of investment.
of the most deprived neighbourhoods in England are seaside communities.
according to the Department for Communities and Local Government 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation.
The collapse of shipbuilding and fishing, the decline of the traditional annual holiday by the seaside, growing drug use, and cutbacks in budgets affecting maintenance of public places, street cleaning, tourism promotion and the providing of education have all contributed to the situation, says the report.
The British Hospitality Association has produced a seven point action plan to breathe new life into seaside towns which calls on the Government to:
Appoint a Seaside Tsar to coordinate a coherent response across all departments and spending - very much like Lord Heseltine's work in Liverpool in the 1980s.
Establish Coastal Action Groups, to develop a co-ordinated response andinvestment strategy to target the specific social and economic challenges that seaside towns face.
Create a progressive tax environment, including a reduction in Tourism VAT, to encourage coastal businesses to invest in themselves.
Create Coastal Enterprise Zones to incentivise investment and encourage businesses to move to the coast and create jobs.
Invest in critical infrastructure and improve broadband, rail and roadconnections, and protect against the threat of rising sea levels.
Improve education and training provision for young people and adults toensure that they have the skills for a variety of sectors.
Support Local Authorities to tackle social issues and housing problems which reduce their attraction as visitor destination
Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the BHA said:
The British public want to enjoy the British Seaside, and those living in coastal communities want a thriving economy.