£3m boost for coast to bring over 200 new jobs

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The North Yorkshire coast is to receive £3.4m to support schemes that will create more than 200 jobs directly and potentially hundreds more in the wider economy.

Scarborough Council will be given £2.6m, with the majority going on measures aimed at maximising economic opportunities from the proposed potash mine in the district and the construction of the Dogger Bank wind farm off the Yorkshire coast.

The projects are expected to create 206 jobs directly and help support 2,500 in the wider economy.

An £800,000 grant has also been secured by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to invest in a second track and platform Whitby station.

The popular attraction will take on 15 new staff and expects the investment to create a further 50 jobs in local tourism businesses.

The money is coming from a Government fund aimed at helping grow the economies of seaside towns.

Derek Bastiman, Scarborough Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and regeneration, said: “This grant represents a huge vote of confidence from The Department for Communities and Local Government in the work this council is doing to attract investment and jobs, and help retrain and upskill local people to ensure we deliver prosperity for the people of Whitby and the borough.

“The potash mine and offshore wind industry have the potential to completely transform the area and bring a new dimension to the local economy which for so long has relied heavily on tourism. Investing in the business park and its infrastructure, as well as people and their skills, will help ensure we are in the best possible position to capitalise for the benefit of our residents.”

Under the banner “Going for Growth”, Scarborough Council will invest the bulk of the money in a project to built three roads to unlock 30 acres for development at the Whitby Business Park.

The business park is close to the site for the proposed minehead for the potash mine south of the village of Sneaton. Sirius Minerals is looking to develop the mine which could eventually employ 1,000 with the construction phase also likely to employ 1,800 people.

The council is also lobbying companies that will be working on the Dogger Bank wind farm to locate operations at the business park.

Business will be helped to take on new engineering and construction apprentices with the council offering to pay the entire first year wages of around 200 trainees taken on by local companies.

The grant will also extend a job brokerage scheme that has helped 1,000 people find work in the last three years.

The money for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway completes the £1.4m it needs to fund investment at Whitby station that will allow it to increase services from three to five per day from April next year.

Philip Benham, NYMR’s general manager, said: “This is really exciting news, not only for NYMR, but also for the whole Whitby community. It reflects great confidence in the highly successful steam services operated by NYMR since 2007. It is also a hugely important boost for the future of the Esk Valley railway line.

“Fifty years ago the Beaching report proposed the withdrawal of all trains to Whitby. Now in NYMR’s 40th Anniversary year, how fitting to be announcing such a major expansion.”

The grants announced this morning are from the second round of the Government’s £24m Coastal Communities Fund.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “It’s a missed opportunity if we don’t tap into the huge potential our coastal towns have to welcome new industries and to diversify their economies so they can become year-round success stories. We’ve seen enormous enthusiasm for this Government fund and had to make some difficult choices but the projects we’ve chosen will create thousands of jobs and help many start-up businesses.”