MINEHEAD got a “golden opportunity” to be revitalised as a flagship seaside resort this week when it was awarded more than £500,000 from Hinkley Point funds.
It was part of a £1 million scheme to transform the seafront and set up a ground-breaking hospitality and tourism academy.
The £501,000, from funding allocated to West Somerset under the Hinkley Point C Community Impact Mitigation (CIM) fund, was released after West Somerset Council approved the bid for ‘Enterprising Minehead’ on Wednesday (August 2).
Councillors were told that the aim of the scheme was to bring new visitors to the town while retaining its Edwardian charm and to make it a centre of excellence.
“This is a golden opportunity for Minehead, providing the town with the opportunity to turn some long-held ambitions into reality,” said council leader Cllr Anthony Trollope-Bellew.
Cllr Andrew Hadley, lead member for economic growth and regeneration, added: “The bid will help transform the seafront, establish a hospitality and tourism academy to improve skills, market Minehead and its many attractions and help local businesses.”
Deputy Leader Cllr Mandy Chilcott told members: “It’s important to remember that CIM funding can only be spent on mitigating the potential effects of Hinkley Point C, such as traffic congestion.
“But it also means we can take up the opportunities afforded by such a huge project by attracting some of the hundreds of workers at the construction site to visit Minehead and so support local businesses.”
EDF Energy’s head of stakeholder engagement for Hinkley Point C, David Eccles, said: “We’re delighted Minehead will be able to use this money to boost tourism in the town.
“The academy and regeneration project will create a lasting legacy for the town and is exactly the kind of investment that we’d hoped our Hinkley Point C community funding would support.”