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Hopes for Euro boost

PUBLISHED: 11:30 28 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 05 July 2010

A NUMBER of exciting new projects are in the pipeline to deliver key regeneration to areas of Lowestoft and Waveney.

The Journal can today reveal that Waveney and Suffolk County Council chiefs are forging links in a bid to regenerate coastal towns.

A NUMBER of exciting new projects are in the pipeline to deliver key regeneration to areas of Lowestoft and Waveney.

The Journal can today reveal that Waveney and Suffolk County Council chiefs are forging links in a bid to regenerate coastal towns.

Tapping into European funding - which is worth almost £250m - the Interreg IV Cross Border programme is currently at the development stage. Although it's still in its infancy, projects are being worked on as partnerships are forged with Norfolk and partner towns in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

And although each of the projects are all “conceptual” at the moment, according to council chiefs, it's understood that three key areas in which Waveney's regeneration team are working upon centre around Planning Adaptation for Coastal Change, Southwold Harbour Project: European Fisheries Fund (EFF), and Coastal Connectivity.

Planning Adaptation for Coastal Change focuses round the Environment Agency, Suffolk County Council and a number of other partners including Waveney Council, on progressing discussions on the issue of coastal flooding, including the Blyth Estuary, and how European funding can play a part in this.

A recent meeting was held to discuss a possible Interreg project, PACC (Planning Adaptation for Coastal Change). The Environment Agency and partners currently being sought in the east and south east regions are proposing this project.

With Waveney Council, Southwold Fishing Community, Southwold Harbour Users group and Southwold Town Council working n the Southwold Harbour Project, this is being developed with the interests of sustaining the current fishing industry, whilst creating opportunities to develop new and existing fishing businesses.

The proposal being developed is split into four areas that will both maximise the impact of the investment and are important when aiming to help and grow the fishing economy within Southwold.

Phase one is an extension of the town stage; phase two, the creation of a fishing dock on the north wall; phase three is to build a fishermen's facility with ice and cold store, cleaning and waste centre, harbourmaster's office and fuel bunkering facility; and phase four, to provide electricity to huts and stages belonging to local fisherman.

Cathy Smith, European funding manager for Suffolk County Council, said: “We are keen to promote the opportunities within these cross border programmes as widely as possible. At this stage most of the projects are either happening or are in development.

“All involve very intensive partnership development across several countries/organisations and it takes at least a year of development, if not more, for a project to get to the bid stage, let alone accepted for funding.”

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