SOUTHEND and Castle Point councils have welcomed the Government’s extra £40million funding boost to improve the seaside economy.

The funding is the fifth round of grants for 2019 to 2021 from the Coastal Communities Fund to create more jobs and drive more visitors to the country’s coastal regions.

Southend councillor Ann Holland, responsible for culture, tourism and economy, said: “Anything that brings money to our coast is good news because Southend is a major tourist area and to get this support is tremendous.

“We will work very hard to secure funding for Southend, Shoebury and Leigh.”

John Lamb, leader of Southend Council, said: “It’s good to see that new money is coming to help us because with this funding it means more opportunities for us.

“We apply for as much funding as we can to support Southend.

“Not only should we focus on Southend town but if we rejuvenate other parts like Shoebury and Leigh then we will have even more visitors coming to our borough.”

Castle Point councillor Ray Howard, of the Canvey Island West ward, also welcomed the grants.

He said: “This funding will help our businesses immensely. The council is working with all the voluntary organisations and individuals on how we can enhance the community.

“Two months ago the Government gave us a grant to employ consultants to discuss with relevant stakeholders how to improve our seafront.

“We will take these recommendations for our application to the Coastal Communities Fund.

“The funding can further build up our entertainment facilities, restaurants and traffic to our seafront.”

Coastal Communities minister Jake Berry said in a statement: “Our coastal towns and cities have a lot to offer all year round.

“That’s why we’re backing them with another £40million of government funding, helping to boost economic growth and create jobs.

“This year is already looking like another record year for ‘staycations’ and our latest round of funding will help attract even more visitors to the Great British coast so that our coastal communities can thrive.”