Coasting to Success for Hythe and New Romney
Hythe and New Romney Town Councils have both been awarded £10,000 grants by the Department for Communities and Local Government to facilitate the creation of new Coastal Community Teams.
On January 20th Coastal Communities Minister Andrew Percy gave seaside areas the cash boost when he announced that a further 28 new ‘Coastal Community Teams’ will be set up across the country and tasked with producing radical economic plans which create jobs along the shore. Hythe and New Romney were both amongst the 28 selected.
Each team – made up of local volunteers, councils and local businesses – will receive an initial £10,000 each to develop a blueprint for economic growth and be offered support from a network geared towards regenerating our much-loved seaside areas.
New Romney Town Council has also been awarded a separate £5,000 grant to develop a Socio-Economic Plan for the area. Council members are delighted that a further joint application submitted in partnership with Folkestone and Hythe District Council to Magnox for £5,000 to part fund the development of the Plan has also been successful and, together, the grant monies totalling £15,000 will enable the Team to both create the Plan and fund or part fund one or two of the projects that are likely to emerge during the process.
Councillor Patricia Rolfe, Mayor of New Romney, observed: “We are extremely grateful to both Magnox and the Department for Communities and Local Government for this much needed funding, and to Folkestone and Hythe District Council for its support. New Romney has huge potential. We want to create a ‘vision’ that may benefit and inspire those living in the area now – but also provide a sympathetic but stimulating enhancement strategy for the future development of the locality – across all spectrums.”
Cllr Rolfe added that “With professional support our aim is to create a planned programme of positive enhancements across the Town that will help capitalise in its rich heritage whilst satisfying 21st Century expectations for growth and sustainable development raising the Town’s profile so it is readily perceived as a positive place to live, work or visit. I am looking forward to working with this newly formed team.”
The team in Hythe has started work on an economic plan which must be submitted to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) by 31st March 2017. With the increase in population of Hythe over the coming years due to the construction of 2,000 houses at Martello Lakes and Shorncliffe Heights there will be a need to provide training and apprenticeships to support young people continuing to work in Hythe.
The town has a relatively high number of children and teenagers, but there are limited opportunities for local employment. With high rental prices compared to nearby towns, younger people tend to move away from the town resulting in an ageing population. Due to the changes in pension regulations, the older generation has to work longer and possibly travel away from the town to find employment. The loss of one or two key employers in the town, together with the reduction of Hythe’s unique fishing fleet has also had an impact on local employment.
Hythe is a stunningly attractive town but has complex issues which need to be addressed and cannot stay the same forever. Hythe Town Council wants more views, more input and a team that includes the opinions of as many people as want to help. Email your views to admin@Hythe-Kent.com.