All 33 town and parish councils on the Isle of Wight will receive extra funding to help boost tourism this summer after the Isle of Wight Council received a £191,270 cash injection from the Government.
The money from the Welcome Back Fund will help the local councils lay on extra support and facilities for visitors ahead of what is expected to be a bumper visitor season.
The funding could be used to install bigger bins on beaches or beachside toilets. Plans to make the coast more appealing with flower planters or clearing away litter and dog fouling are also options.
Current council leader, Conservative Dave Stewart, has said:
“This cash injection from the government is most welcome and it is right that we make sure town, community and parish councils receive it, as they know best what needs to be done in their area.
“Our hospitality and tourism sectors have been hard hit by lockdowns and a lack of tourism for more than a year now but the vaccination programme, the easing of lockdown and a vibrant staycation market means I am confident we can really bounce back.
“My message this summer is clear: let’s make the most of it and use this money to welcome visitors to safely enjoy our wonderful Isle of Wight.”
The Isle of Wight Council is engaging with town, community and parish councils to seek their thoughts and ideas on how they would like to use this money, and this will help inform the approach to be taken. Initiatives already being considered include making beaches safer, with the re-introduction of buoys and other safety features.
The Council is also looking to learn from the experience of places like Bournemouth, which has coped with more visitors but has ensured a safe and environmentally friendly seaside experience.
Councillor Steve Hastings, who has been leading the Council’s efforts on this important contribution to the Island’s visitor economy and is now vying for re-election, adds:
“We wish to see a strong economic recovery right across the Island, including in our coastal communities, where hospitality has been one of the worst casualties of the Covid pandemic.
“If we are truly to be an inspirational place to grow up, live, work and visit – then no part of our community must miss out.”
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