January 13, 2015
Burnham-On-Sea coach boom 'boosts town centre trade by £230,000'

A project to encourage more coach visitors into Burnham-On-Sea has helped to to attract more than 1,000 extra coaches into the town over the past two years, generating over £230,000 of extra trade.

New figures out this week show 1,012 coaches dropped off visitors in Burnham during 2014, a huge increase from 458 in the previous year. There were just 173 coaches in 2012.

It follows the launch of Project Coach two years ago to promote Burnham to coach firms across the country and attract more visitors.

The project's co-leader, Ian Jefferies, told a Town Council meeting last night (Monday) that the initiative has been a "huge success."

Ian told "We are delighted that the figures show that two years of work has paid off in terms of increased numbers of coaches and trade."

He added the £233,792 of extra trade in Burnham has been calculated by an average spend of £7 per coach visitor. "We have under-estimated the financial benefit if anything - it may well be far higher," he said.

Les Barber, the project's other co-leader, added: "It's been particularly good to see that the out-of-season visits are well up, and that a lot more coach travellers are now visiting Burnham for an overnight stay instead of just a brief stop and therefore treating us a destination rather than just a stopping point."

Town councillor Chris Williams said after Monday's meeting: "Our thanks go to Ian and Les for their work with this project - there has been an impressive increase in coach visitors over the last two years."

'Project Coach' was launched in July 2013 when a £15,000 grant was given by Burnham and Highbridge Town Council to BIARS (Burnham Information and Rescue Support), which runs Burnham's Tourist Information Centre, to start the initiative. The team are currently seeking further funding to take the project on to the next stage.


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