Published: July 2, 2013
£15k boost for project to bring more coach visitors to Burnham-On-Sea

A major project that aims to bring thousands of extra coach visitors to Burnham-On-Sea has this week been given a £15,000 boost.

At a meeting last night (Monday, July 1st), Burnham Town Councillors approved a huge grant application for the project from BIARS (Burnham Information and Rescue Support), which runs Burnham's Tourist Information Centre.

Ian Jefferies, the manager at BIARS who is overseeing the project, said he is delighted by the decision. Coach firms are to be approached to bring more day-trippers into the town, boosting local trade, and new itineraries are to be created to encourage visitors to visit tourist attractions, venues and businesses.

Ian told "BIARS has been working extremely hard to encourage coaches to Burnham, not just as a brief stopover, but as a destination. We are delighted that the Town Council are supporting us in what we are trying to achieve."

"Our project, called Project Coach, can now be taken a lot further forward. As well as encouraging coaches to our town, we will be working with the many tour operators we have relationships to arrange bespoke itineraries that will benefit businesses, create jobs and help the community as a whole."

He added: "As an example, if we attract two more coaches a day to visit Burnham, each containing 30 people who spend an average of £3 each during their visit that will bring over £35,000 of extra money into the town over a summer season. With more coaches, the income can be even greater."

Mayor Martin Cox said he considers it "an exciting project that could deliver great financial benefits to the town."

And Cllr Louise Parkin added her support, saying: "Ian has been working hard to improve the viability of Burnham and this project will bring more coach visitors into the town to boost employment and help overall business."

Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton said: "This is an excellent scheme which I am keen to support on the proviso that full accountability is in place. We need documented plans and the ability to scrutiny the progress every two months."

Regular updates on the two-year project's progress and expenditure will be given to the Town Council as the work gathers pace. The project aims to be self-funding within three years.


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