Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 14:09 UK

Culture boost for deprived resort

Torquay beach
The money will be used to improve historic public spaces

A south Devon district could receive up to 4m in government grants to carry out regeneration work.

The money for Torbay will be invested in cultural and heritage projects by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).

It is hoped the money, being offered under the Sea Change scheme, will help attract wider economic regeneration.

Sea Change is a three-year programme to give 45m to coastal resorts with social and economic deprivation.

Cultural infrastructure

Torbay is one of three areas - along with Blackpool, Lancashire and Dover in Kent - to benefit from Sea Change.

They were identified by CABE in partnership with the Regional Development Agencies as priority areas for regeneration with projects in development.

Local authorities will put forward projects to CABE along with their business and project management plans.

However, project leaders must find match funding of at least 100% to qualify for funding.

The money will be used for work on cultural infrastructure - improving historic public spaces such as high streets, promenades, harbours or gardens.

'Hidden treasures'

It will also be used for constructing new buildings or converting existing ones for use as cultural centres; as well as enhancing existing galleries, concert halls, dance spaces, theatres and arts centres.

The Sea Change programme also includes up to 12 smaller match funding grants of 200,000 to 1,000,000 available to other coastal towns, with a June deadline for applications.

Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said: "Our seaside resorts are much loved and an integral part of English culture.

"But some of them are looking a bit faded and no longer attract as many visitors as they did.

"Many hold hidden treasures and this money provides a much needed boost to the resorts."


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