Funds to give town a business boost

WESTON could be set for a major financial boost following the Government’s decision to pump more money into seaside towns.

The new Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) will distribute �23.7million nationwide to a variety of different community improvement projects.

The fund – open to businesses, charities, social enterprise schemes and other local organisations, whether old or new – will start in April 2012.

Examples could include support for developing renewable energy, improving skills or environmental safeguarding.

Applicants will have to bid for the money and the best schemes will be selected, although the exact procedure has not yet been decided.

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Weston MP John Penrose said he hoped it would help current businesses grow and attract new ventures to the town.

He said: “This is great news for Weston, and I’d encourage local projects to apply. It could be a major contribution to our local economy.

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“It’s up to organisations in Weston to bid for the money so it is important they know about it as soon as possible so they can plan for it.”

Tristan Tudor, director of Somerset Wood Recycling, said the CCF was something his non-profit making company would be interested in applying for.

“I would need to look at the criteria more closely but I would seek funding to expand what we already do, and through that create some more sustainable jobs,” he said.

“We have been working for a long time now to improve the prospects of local long-term unemployed people – we have supported nearly 500 local people in this way.

“There are for too many cases in Weston of talented and enthusiastic young people frustrated when they come to enter the employment market.

“Weston desperately needs business to stop this from happening.”

The multi-million pound cash injection will be funded by the Crown Estates. The fund represents half its revenue.

The Crown Estates owns the majority of UK seabeds and earns money from a variety of sources including dredging and for hosting renewable energy sources.

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