Could West Kirby benefit from a £40m government fund for coastal communities?

By Emma Gunby at

Applications are now open for a £40m government fund which aims to transform coastal communities such as West Kirby.

It is part of the government’s Coastal Communities Fund, which is designed to encourage investment in jobs, skills and local businesses.

Hilbre Island

Hilbre Island is one of West Kirby’s most popular, tourism hotspots

Coastal Communities Minister, Jake Berry, said: “I’m delighted to announce that applications are now open for the next round of the Coastal Communities Fund.

“Coastal Communities up and down the country from Barrow-in-Furness to Brighton have been boosted by this funding which has spurred inward investment, sustainable growth, new jobs and exciting economic opportunities for local businesses.

“By 2020, we’ll have invested nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in our seaside areas, providing thousands of jobs, training places and opportunities along the Great British Coast.”

Hilbre Islands

Day trippers flock to West Kirby beach during the Summer

The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) supports the economic transformation of UK coastal communities by giving funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs.

Since 2012, the government’s CCF has awarded grants to 295 projects across the UK, totalling over £174 million. Successful projects have included:

  • Cornwall council receiving a £1.95 million grant in 2014 to repair and re-launch the Grade II Listed Art Deco ‘Jubilee Pool’ in Penzance to create an all year round visitor attraction sustaining existing jobs and creating new positions (including much needed apprenticeships in an area with higher than average youth unemployment).
  • In January 2015, Blackpool city council received a £2 million CCF grant towards the “Lightpool” project to deliver a radical transformation of the iconic Blackpool Illuminations, creating a compelling new visitor experience and a major boost to the local economy. The project is forecast to have increased visitor numbers by 2.6 million.
  • The Tate St Ives was awarded a £3.87 million grant in 2015 to refurbish and extend the Tate Gallery in St Ives. The new facilities include a new apse gallery connecting the existing gallery to the new extension; a new suite of learning and event spaces; increased capacity for visitors in the reception, cloakrooms, café, new exhibition space, staff accommodation and training space.
  • Amble – the seafood town – Northumberland. Northumberland county council was awarded a £1.8 million CCF grant in 2014 to improve the economy of Amble through infrastructure works to transform the town into a visitor destination promoting seafood, attracting new visitors and creating jobs. The project has provided two new restaurants, improved facilities incorporating a Harbour Village with retail space, and enhanced access along the shore.

How do you apply?

Coastal Communities Fund Round 5 is now open with £40 million available for spend from April 2019 to end of March 2021.

Funding goes to projects over £50,000 that will ultimately lead to regeneration and economic growth whilst directly or indirectly safeguarding and creating sustainable jobs.

Within this round 5 there are 2 separate funding rounds, each with their own timetable set out in part 7 of the guidance notes:

  • a ‘fast track’ early round for revenue projects only for which some funding will be available in 2018 to 2019. Stage 1 closing date 2 April.
  • the main funding round for which funding will be available from 1 April 2019. Stage 1 closing date 30 April.

Stage 1 application form

This is an expression of interest, following which we will identify projects that strongly fit the programme aim, outcome and priorities.

Applicants invited to Stage 2 will complete a fuller application form, and a business plan.


The round 5 guidance notes cover:

  • who can apply?
  • funding priorities & examples
  • how much can I apply for and what can the money be used for?
  • application process, assessment and decision-making
  • guidance for capital projects