January 29, 2017
Dinner held to celebrate Burnham-On-Sea winning coach visitor award

Dozens of Burnham-On-Sea business owners, residents and councillors attended a special dinner on Saturday night (January 28th) to celebrate the town winning the title of 'Coach Friendly Destination of the Year'.

Saturday's dinner was held at The Oaktree and was held to thank the two original organisers of Project Coach, Ian Jefferies and Les Barber, for their work in achieving the national award last year, and helping to bring extra visitors into the town.

Those at Saturday's event were also invited to give their support to the new coach project which is continuing to bring coach visitors into Burnham.

The new project is being overseen by Burnham Chamber of Trade and BIARS (Burnham Information And Rescue Support), which runs the town's tourist information centre, supported by Burnham and Highbridge Town Council and Sedgemoor District Council.

It aims to bring 1,000 coaches a year into Burnham, generating a projected annual benefit to the local economy of around £100,000 to help the viability of existing businesses and support jobs in the town centre.

Burnham's Mayor Cllr Michael Clarke and Mayoress Maria Clarke were among those at the dinner. He said: "It's great to see so much joint-working underway here to make this project a success - led by the Chamber of Trade, it's involving businesses, the tourism industry, local councils and residents - all working together in a very positive way to benefit Burnham."

The new project was awarded a £2,000 grant last July from the Town Council and other funding has since been secured from the Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership (HTAP) and local businesses - but more is needed to keep it sustainable and Burnham Chamber of Trade is seeking further support. Les Barber is leading the new scheme and can be contacted via the project's web page here.

Mark Newman, Chairman of Burnham Chamber of Trade, thanked Ian and Les for their work to secure the award despite tough competition. "To win this title was a huge accomplishment for a town the size of Burnham, up against cities such as Liverpool," he said.

Alex Turco, Vice Chairman, and Phoebe Pearce were thanked for their work in making the dinner a success. Alex outlined to the audience the work that is underway by the Chamber to promote business in Burnham and support the coach project, including the upcoming launch of a new edition of a shopping guide.

Burnham won the coveted title of 'Coach Friendly Destination of the Year' for Burnham at the 2016 National Coach Tourism Awards.


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