Beach slipway reopens as more cash promised for coast

The opening of Bucks Mills slipway on Tuesday. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The opening of Bucks Mills slipway on Tuesday. Picture: Graham Hobbs - Credit: Graham Hobbs

Access to Bucks Mills is restored after it was destroyed by winter storms last year. And more money is awarded to projects in Bideford, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and Lynmouth.

The damage caused by storms at Bucks Mills.

The damage caused by storms at Bucks Mills. - Credit: Archant

The slipway at Bucks Mills destroyed by winter storms was officially reopened yesterday (Tuesday).

Huge spring tides smashed giant holes in the quay wall and completely washed away the only access to the beach in February last year.

But the slipway has now been fully restored by Torridge District Council, the Environment Agency, FLAG and the Marine Management Organisation – thanks in part to a £417,000 Coastal Communities Funding award last year.

And there was more good news for North Devon’s coastal communities this week, with the announcement of new funding from the government’s Coastal Community Fund.

Bideford, Barnstaple, Fremington Quay, Ilfracombe, and Lyn Valley will now each receive £10,000.

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Councillor Pat Barker, North Devon Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “We’ll now continue to work with partners to help kick-start planned projects for these areas.

“This will include improvements to tourism and visitor numbers, which in turn can help boost our local economy, create jobs and further economic investment.”

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Cllr Rodney Cann, the council’s executive member for environment, added: “These coastal community teams bring together councils, local businesses and residents, so that together we can collaborate and put this funding to good use.

“We are fortunate enough to live in a beautiful coastal area and these funds will enable us to help make the most of this, promoting our seasides and our heritage to visitors, whilst supporting the economy at the same time.”

North Devon projects will include the development of Fremington Quay as a maritime heritage destination – and potentially enabling visitors to arrive by sea.

In Ilfracombe, the money will be used to help boost visitors to the High Street, while in the Lyn Valley it will be used to market the area and help increase the number of visitors by sea.

In Bideford, £10,00 will be used by the Bideford Partnership to develop a plan to increase visitor numbers and visitor spend in the town.

John Himan, Torridge’s lead member for the economy, said: “This will allow us to further strengthen the growing number of projects and initiatives to improve the economic potential of the area.

“By involving local businesses, residents and other partners it will also allow us to bring a community focus to this work.”

The funding is to be spent by March 2016.

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