June 8, 2009
regeneration hopes dealt a severe blow
to regenerate Burnham-On-Sea were dealt a severe blow on Monday
(June 8th) when it was announced that the town is not to gain
£750,000 of much-needed funding for the project.
The South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) announced the
line-up of regeneration schemes across the region that have gained
funding, but Burnham's Civic Pride project was not on the list.
SWRDA unveiled a programme of capital investments across the region
over the next two years worth £260m, but while Weston and
Bridgwater will get money, Burnham-On-Sea has missed out altogether.
A statement released by the agency on Monday morning, referring
to Burnham, stated simply: "The RDA has invested some funding
in the initial feasibility and study work for this proposed public
realm improvement project. In line with our policy decision set
out earlier on 'public realm' investments, we will not provide
any further funding."
District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"Sedgemoor District Council is extremely disappointed that
the Civic Pride Programme in Burnham has been a casualty of the
programme has been evolving since 2002 and it is deeply frustrating
for the Council and the local community that the funding to implement
the plans has been withdrawn at this important stage."
Civic Pride project will now need to be reviewed with the key
partners to understand if there are other options to progress
key elements of the programme."
Burnham's MP, David Heathcoat-Amory, also attacked the decision
and said he would be taking up the matter in Parliament, as reported
Jane Henderson, Chief Executive of SWRDA, said: "Today's
announcements represent a significant investment programme that
puts in place the building blocks for further growth and prosperity
in years to come."
most businesses and families throughout the region, we have had
to tighten our belts and will not now be able to fund all the
investments we hoped we could."
"None of these choices has been made lightly, and we regret
the disappointment that will be felt by some of our partners and
stakeholders in having to scale back our investment activity."
limited resources, we have our sights firmly focused on doing
the things that are most important for ensuring that the South
West comes through the recession in the best possible shape to
succeed as a dynamic, sustainable and thriving regional economy."
SWRDA's list of projects that it is backing has been published
online at http://download.southwestrda.org.uk/file.asp?File=/other/general/Capital-projects-09-11.pdf
added that the government's 2007 spending review reduced all RDAs'
budgets by 5% year-on-year for 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11.
Also, in recent months, some of the funding for RDAs has been
re-directed by the Government to pay for national business support
and housing initiatives.
The images above show how Burnham town centre was expected
to look after regeneration