Bacta, the trade association for the UK’s amusement machine sector, has today launched its ‘Siding with the Seaside’ campaign designed to reenergise Britain’s coastal communities, who in recent years have faced increasingly challenging economic conditions.
The campaign from bacta will champion Britain’s coastal communities and aims to drive greater awareness of the unique conditions that are creating economic challenges in Britain’s seaside towns. Britain’s coastal communities are comparatively more deprived and on average underperform economically when compared to inland areas.
For these communities tourism is a vital industry, and government policies must allow for tourism to thrive, preserve traditional seaside landscapes and provide investment and infrastructures for local businesses to encourage more visitors.
Bacta is urging the government to prioritise the renewal of seaside towns and has highlighted six areas where investment and attention from the government is desperately needed:
John White, CEO at Bacta said: “The British seaside continues to be a magnet for tourism and an economic engine for coastal communities. The hospitality industry, of which we are part of, employs 1 in 10 people in coastal towns and is responsible for 250 million annual visits, contributing £1.7bn to the economy. Brighton Pier attracts an estimated 4.6 million visitors a year, more than the Tower of London or the V&A.
“Seaside amusements are a quintessential part of British culture dating back to before WWI and this campaign is about preserving Britain’s history of seaside fun for future generations to enjoy. Seaside Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) are an important part of coastal communities, providing essential income for families, but also preserving our heritage.”
Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney said:
Coastal communities are the lifeblood of Waveney and I’m proud to support the Bacta #SidingWithTheSeaside campaign, which is working hard to revitalise seaside towns across the country.
Seaside tourism is a key part of our shared history and restoring seaside infrastructure to its former glory will help to boost the local economy and future proof coastal communities.
The Siding with the Seaside campaign proposes to preserve the history and family values seaside FECs represent and boost the economy of coastal communities, including the renovation of seaside centrepieces. This kind of investment is proven to have a significant impact: after Weston-Super-Mare’s Pier was renovated and re-opened in 2010, takings for local businesses increased by 30%.
The Tourism Sector Deal, which government signalled intentions to secure in November 2018, will focus on workforce development and consequent productivity gains.
To safeguard the future of seaside tourism and ensure the Siding with Seaside campaign initiatives are a priority, bacta will be touring seaside towns and meeting local MPs to fast-track support from government.
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