THE SPATE of new businesses, and enterprises, being launched in Yorkshire’s coastal communities could – in time – mark a sea-change in the future fortunes of those resorts, and picturesque villages, that attract tourists from home and abroad in overwhelming numbers.
However, while tourism is integral to the regional economy’s prosperity, the picture postcard scenery – especially under clear blue skies – masks pockets of poverty overlooked by politicians and policy-makers for far too long.
An ageing population – coupled with many of the more dynamic young people feeling the need to move elsewhere to further their careers – means it’s even more important that coastal areas attract, and generate, more cutting-edge jobs and investment that build on recent announcements. Yet the challenge facing large and small investors, and tourists, is a familiar one – access. The more jobs and visitors, the greater the congestion on the area’s roads, like the nationally notorious A64, and routes along the coast.
This is why The Yorkshire Post has just undertaken a week-long series into the state of the coast, the destinations reinventing themselves – and the challenges that remain. They’re myriad and the area needs strong – and co-ordinated – leadership. How about a task force headed by an individual like Robert Goodwill? Not only is he Scarborough and Whitby’s MP, but he’s a former transport and education minister who should know how to persuade the Government about the merit of investing in the coast. For, unless the area stands up for itself and make the case for funds, the problems will persist.