Suffolk Coastal are celebrating the accomplishments achieved through the Coastal Communities Fund Programme but Felixstowe is conspicuous by its absence.
The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) programme aims to build a more robust tourism economy in East Suffolk by developing key assets, delivering events and expanding activities to attract visitors during the shoulder and off-seasons. And Felixstowe being a major part of that – it owould stand to reason some of this funding might be coming are way – but that has not been the case.
Suffolk Coastal District Council was instrumental in the successful award of grant funding from the CCF and is managing the overall programme of work.
The Coastal Communities Fund was started in 2012 in order to promote sustainable economic growth and jobs in coastal communities.
The Council received £490,000 in funding from the programme and have used it for the following projects:
Snape Maltings – A new children’s viewing sculpture called Myriad created by artist David Rickard and architect Germano Di Chello, was created following a competition in 2016 and gives visitors a different way of looking at the landscape. After a successful summer, the sculpture is set to be moved to a new location.
Aldeburgh – A year long series of events for children, including a Children’s Film Festival, has been established by Aldeburgh Cinema’s Audience Development Project. The group have been busy organising screenings of acclaimed films as well as running creative work shops for children of all ages to get involved in.
Aldeburgh – Homegrown and locally produced food and drink is also helping to bring more people to the Suffolk coast. The development project led by young people through the Young Producers Group, aims to support members and new start-ups, sharing knowledge and experience and promoting new businesses in the area. The group have now held the first Suffolk Young Producers Food Fair and link to the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival.
Work is now also taking place to develop an interactive food trail web platform, celebrating the best of the Suffolk coast to encourage visitors to explore undiscovered parts of east Suffolk. The map will enable people to create their own trail of places to visit and enjoy across the county.
Dunwich,Orford, Walberswick – A new volunteer tourism project run by Wild Days Conservation Holidays has been established and aims to link volunteering with holidaying opportunities along the Suffolk coast. Supported by Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), three holidays have now taken place in Dunwich, Orford and Walberswick and four more are planned for this year. The development of these holidays is part of a wider ‘Volunteer Tourism’project to help both local volunteers and visitors to pass on their passion for the Suffolk coast.
This also links to the Suffolk Coast Greeters project to form the Volunteer Toursim Network which recruits volunteers to welcome visitors to the area who will share what they love, what they know and their personal experiences of the area.
All these projects are brought together to promote the area as a visitor destination by the Suffolk Coast website. Launched in April 2015 by the The Suffolk Coast Ltd Destination Management Organisation (DMO) and enhanced thanks to the funding received, the website showcases what the area has to offer to visitors and tourists with high profile PR campaigns, increased social media coverage as well as connecting and boosting the profile of a string of local businesses.
Aldeburgh & Thorpeness, Rendlesham & Staverton, Sutton & Hollesley Heaths and Walberswick – Walking is becoming a major draw for people visiting the Suffolk Coast leading to investment in the creation of four new walks and improved route marking to enable easier access to some of the coast’s best loved areas. New walking guides have also been developed for the four paths in to enable people to navigate the routes easily and safely.
Walberswick – The Suffolk Coasts and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team have launced the newly renovated coast path in Walberswick , along with the collection of Outstanding Landscapes walks guides to link the best walks in the area. The team hope the improved path will encourage more visitors and residents to explore and discover more of the Suffolk Coast.
Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member for Economic Development with responsibility for Tourism, said: “We are incredibly lucky to be living in such a beautifully diverse part of the world, making it the perfect place for all kinds of visitors to enjoy. This fantastic tourism offer is a great benefit to businesses from the small and independent to the larger more established brands along the Suffolk coast.
“We have a proud tradition here of working together to make positive changes and this newly renovated path complete with walking guide is another positive way of linking the most scenic parts of our landscape together.
“We hope this along with the other projects developed through the Coastal Communities Fund will continue to encourage more visitors to the Suffolk coast and enhance our already flourishing tourism offer.”
To download the walking guides, visit: www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/publications/walking-and-cycling-guides/outstanding-landscapes-walks
For further information specific to this project please contact: Neil Cockshaw, Programmes and Partnerships Manager, Suffolk Coastal District Council 01394 444451.