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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 05:58 GMT 06:58 UK
Sea towns 'to get 110,000 jobs'
Whitstable beach
Whitstable is "a pearl on a string" stretching from Kent to Hampshire
A plan to develop ports and resorts in the south-east of England will create 110,000 jobs, it is claimed.

The South East England Development Agency (Seeda) names Brighton and Hove and urban south Hampshire as "two diamonds for growth".

And seaside towns from Whitstable to Cowes, including Hastings and Bexhill, are described as a "string of pearls" that can narrow economic gaps.

The idea will be discussed at a Coastal Cities Summit in Brighton on 16 May.

"The coastal area is rich in diversity and potential," said a Seeda spokesman.

The potential of the coastal area is huge
Seeda chairman, James Brathwaite

And it said that many projects were already under way.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said the summit in Brighton would be "an important opportunity".

Commenting on the announcement of the coastal plan, he said it would mean "looking afresh at the economic contours of a region".

Mr Prescott said: "It's about thinking east-west not just north-south. It's taking a new perspective on the potential of the South East for jobs and growth."

Seeda chairman, James Brathwaite CBE, said: "The potential of the coastal area is huge, its competitive advantage is yet to be fully developed but transformational investments are already under way."

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