Here in St Ives we were lucky that we had a group of organisations already working together to try to bring about improvements to benefit the area generally. With the advent of the Government’s Coastal Communities initiative, by simply acknowledging this group as a Coastal Communities Team, we are now able to access funding which will help develop an economic plan for the area.
Coastal Communities Teams, as defined by the Department for Communities and Local Government are:
What is a Coastal Community Team?
A Coastal Community Team is a local partnership consisting of the local authority and a range of people and business interests from a coastal community who have an understanding of the issues facing that area and can develop an effective forward strategy for that place. The Team should include a range of local stakeholders and have broad support. Members of the team could be drawn from any part of the community who have an interest in their area being successful. We would also expect to see existing groups joining the team, such as local voluntary and community organisations, the town team and Business Improvement District (where these are in place), major local employers and representatives of important local assets, such as a major local tourist attraction. We also envisage the involvement of Destination Management bodies where relevant.
What will Coastal Community Teams do?
Coastal Community Teams should have an understanding of the economic issues facing their local community and should develop a plan for making improvements. This may build on existing work which is already underway or could be an entirely new initiative. While Coastal Community Teams may choose their own priorities, suggested areas of focus, particularly for very new partnerships, are as follows: – Enhancing the attractiveness and accessibility of public areas, – Providing increased community facilities, – Promoting the visitor economy, – Encouraging sustainable uses of heritage/cultural assets, and – Creating links to support the growth and performance of the retail sector. In terms of the plan developed by the Coastal Community Team, this should focus on a defined local area, which should be specified in the application form. We are anticipating that Teams will cover a particular coastal town or a group of nearby and economically connected small towns or villages.