TWENTY projects have been awarded a share of £4 million of funding which aims to create jobs and apprenticeships in coastal towns.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said the schemes would support more than 516 jobs and create more than 186 new apprenticeships and training places.
The initiatives include £451,282 for Mull and Iona Community Trust’s project to provide Ulva Ferry, on Mull, with a pontoon and shore facilities to attract visiting yachtsmen, tour operators, campers and fishermen.
A scheme to create a lobster hatchery in North Berwick harbour has been awarded £143,000, while The Three Harbours Association is receiving £408,375 to create a multi-purpose small boat/canoeing/kayaking/sailing/ diving school in the former boat store adjacent to Cullen Harbour in Moray.
Other initiatives include the Gunsgreen House Trust’s project to develop a branded Smugglers’ Coast coastal trail, enhancing the existing Berwickshire Coastal Path, and a scheme to develop cycle tourism on the Black Isle.
The Coastal Communities Fund was created to direct regeneration investment to seaside towns and villages to help rebalance their local economies, reduce unemployment and create new work opportunities for young people from the local area.
Mr Alexander said: “The Coastal Communities Fund allows us to help communities across the UK to rebuild and regenerate their local economy, with projects this year supporting nearly 516 jobs and 186 training places in Scotland.
“In Scotland, 20 projects are going to benefit from UK government funding to boost their local area and ensure that communities, charities and businesses are able to create innovative, sustainable projects that support the local economy.
“The Coastal Communities Fund is supporting some of the most fragile communities.
“It is a great way to make sure that people living around our coastline can share in the benefits of the increased returns for the Crown Estate’s marine activities, and proves that we are better together.”
Mr Alexander also announced that bidding for the next round of the Coastal Communities Fund was now open and that bids on coastal flood protection and repair would be prioritised.
The UK-wide fund will support £64 million of projects across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland over the next three years.
Scottish projects will be able to bid from a pot worth £14.4 million.