Water-based sports across coastal West Sussex, such as sailing, kayaking and kitesurfing, are to benefit from a £170,000 grant that has been awarded to the Coastal West Sussex Partnership from the Coastal Communities Fund. The grant is towards a £340,000 project to position the West Sussex coast as an active hub for water-based sports.

The aim of the project is to enable water sports businesses in West Sussex to grow, flourish and create jobs. The grant will help to pay for a much-needed marketing campaign to promote water sports in the region. It will seek to grow the market, attract more visitors and extend the visitor season as well as the length of stay for visitors.

Caroline Wood, Director of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership commented: “We’re over the moon to have been awarded this grant. We want to work with all relevant businesses to help put the West Sussex coast on the water sports map.

“We have an incredible variety of water sports available locally, from diving in Littlehampton, to kayaking in Pagham, to kitesurfing in the Goring Gap. Our stunning coastline has plenty to offer both seasoned athletes and total beginners alike and many of the businesses also cater to families.”

All water sports businesses along the coast in West Sussex have the chance to be involved in the campaign and are being asked to contact the Coastal West Sussex Partnership to express interest.

Lewis Crathern, four times British champion kite surfer and Worthing local, said: “I’m extremely happy that the West Sussex area has received this grant. Having grown up here by the coast I have seen water sports develop at a rapid pace and I am proud to call it my base for my profession of kitesurfing.

“I look forward to this collaboration and to further spreading the message that our area is a world class location for water sports”

This project is one of 16 Coastal Community Fund fast track applications in England to receive a grant under Round 5. Collectively, these fast track projects are forecast to deliver over 1,100 jobs and attract £2.45 million in additional public and private sector funding.

Coastal Communities Minister, Jake Berry, said: “It’s really exciting to see money from the Coastal Communities Fund helping to kick start the Coastal West Sussex Partnership project, which will help unlock some of the barriers to development and growth in the local community. Investment in our seaside areas, through projects such as these, will provide nothing short of a New Deal for the Great British coast creating thousands of jobs, training places and opportunities along the shore.”

It is in addition to the 131 projects worth £132 million the Fund has supported in England in previous bidding rounds. These projects expect their funding to support 15,000 jobs and unlock £190 million in additional investment, showing the Fund is having a real impact.

The Coastal West Sussex Partnership will soon be recruiting for a new team member to help deliver the project and a job description will be released in the coming weeks.

Coastal Communities Fund
The Great British Coast has enormous economic potential and this government is determined to see it thrive all year round.

That’s why, by 2020, the Government will have invested £250 million in our much-loved seaside areas through dedicated programmes like the Coastal Communities Fund to help in generating new jobs and boosting businesses.

So far, analysis has shown that this has been money well spent with every £1 invested having the potential to create an up to £8 boost to our coastal economies. To find our more visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coastal-communities-fund