Seaside towns in the Tendring District will benefit from a new £360,000 project to tempt Essex residents and visitors to the area to enjoy the resorts’ heritage.
A National Lottery grant of £316,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), as well as matched funding from Essex County Council and the commitment of volunteers - including local heritage groups - are the driving force behind a range of activities.
Spanning two years, the project - aptly named ‘Resorting to the Coast’ - will proactively engage with local community groups and schools to bring the seaside heritage of Clacton, Frinton, Harwich/ Dovercourt, Jaywick and Walton-on-the-Naze to life.
Resorting to the Coast, initiated by Essex County Council and developed in partnership with The Cultural Engine along with many other committed local partners, will focus on the history and heritage of the resort growth story within the coastal towns.
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, commented: “Seaside towns are integral to our tourism offer and a much-loved part of our culture, but sometimes critical perceptions mean their incredibly rich and diverse heritage is underappreciated.
“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, volunteers and communities are set to take the lead in recognising the value of their towns, strengthening their economies and tourism for the future, and reigniting love and pride for their seaside heritage.”
Activities taking place over the next two years include public events involving theatrical performances, a travelling exhibition, a schools programme and academic conferences. Two town trails will also link with the Tendring stretch of the England Coast Path currently being developed by Natural England in partnership with Essex County Council.
The development stage of the project was supported by University of East London (UEL) which is currently funding research that will inform the development of the project website, and will be important partners in the delivery of two conferences.
Dr. Sampson from UEL said: “We are delighted with the result of the National Lottery application and are keen to continue working with Essex County Council and all the project partners. This is the kind of engagement UEL is keen to achieve with community organisations and local authorities, working to make a real difference on the ground.”
A Seaside Heritage Day, with traditional seaside entertainment and activities, will be the grand finale for the project in 2019, bringing together the success of the community engagements and all that the project will have discovered.