Millions awarded to boost economy

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Scarborough is set for a jobs boost after being selected to receive a £2.6 million grant from Government.

The town’s authority is getting the largest payout in the country in the latest round of grants being awarded by the Coastal Communities Fund.

However the biggest boost is to be felt up the coast as Scarborough Council, which secured the grant, has said the money will be injected into Whitby Business Park through the council’s Going for Growth scheme.

The council is looking to open up land and improve infrastructure in readiness for the creation of Europe’s largest offshore wind farm near Dogger Bank and the planned Potash Mine.

Although the grant money isn’t earmarked for any Scarborough specific project the town’s economy is set to benefit from the funding which will also be used to subsidise as many as 200 apprenticeship in engineering and manufacturing in the borough; funding training and business support for enterprises linked to the potash, renewable energy and other local industries.

The council predicts a total of 206 direct jobs and 2,500 indirect jobs will be created in the local economy as a result of the Going for Growth project.

Cabinet portfolio holder for strategic planning and regeneration, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “This grant represents a huge vote of confidence from The Department for Communities and Local Government in the work this council is doing to attract investment and jobs, and help retrain and upskill local people to ensure we deliver prosperity for the people of Whitby and the borough.

“The potash mine and offshore wind industry have the potential to completely transform the area and bring a new dimension to the local economy which for so long has relied heavily on tourism.

“Investing in the business park and its infrastructure, as well as people and their skills, will help ensure we are in the best possible position to capitalise for the benefit of our residents.”

Also to receive funding from the Coastal Communities Fund is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which is being awarded £800,000 to further develop the heritage railway service linking Whitby to the North York Moors National Park.

The project will create 15 new jobs on the railway service and 52 jobs indirectly in Whitby’s tourism sector.

The total fund pot of £16 million is raised from the Crown Estate’s marine assets and reinvested in coastal areas.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “It’s a missed opportunity if we don’t tap into the huge potential our coastal towns have to welcome new industries and to diversify their economies so they can become year-round success stories.

“We’ve seen enormous enthusiasm for this Government fund and had to make some difficult choices but the projects we’ve chosen will create thousands of jobs and help many start-up businesses.

“This money will help these towns tap into new business opportunities that will create jobs and boost skills that will benefit the whole community.”