On 22nd June Lord McNally asked Her Majesty’s Government ” what measures they are taking to ensure that seaside resorts can respond to any increased demand for holidays in the United Kingdom.” The Rt Revd Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle, asked a follow up question focusing on poverty in coastal areas.
Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, my diocese boasts some of the UK’s most beautiful coastline, and I welcome the Minister’s reassurances on the significance of tourism and the measures to be taken to aid it. However, many of the coastal communities in the north-east, in common with coastal towns elsewhere, are among the 10% most-deprived areas in England. What action do the Government propose to ensure that the present crisis will not make the inequality with non-coastal areas even greater?
Baroness Barran: The right reverend Prelate is right. I was lucky enough to visit some of the coastline in her diocese before Covid, and it is absolutely stunning. The Government have been committed since 2012 to supporting coastal communities and have spent £229 million through the Coastal Communities Fund. She will be aware of the focus that this Government put in their manifesto on levelling up some of the communities that are perceived as left behind, covering all sorts of job creation, infrastructure and, importantly, tourism.