MORE communities have welcomed plans to help revive coastal areas in a new government scheme.

As reported in the Echo, new action teams – bringing together local business, councils and residents – are to be formed in Dorset to help coordinate local regeneration projects.

The Coastal Community Teams will lead the bids for a slice of the multi-million pound Coastal Communities Fund and decide where new investment goes.

The Portland Community Partnership succeeded in its bid for £10,000 to form a team, as reported in Tuesday's Echo.

Similar amounts will be coming to Weymouth and Bridport/West Bay to form teams, we can reveal.

The Weymouth and Portland Partnership's Business Leaders Group which includes the leaders of Weymouth BID, Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce, Weymouth and Portland Tourism Partnership and local employers working together with council economic regeneration teams, put in a joint bid to be part of the programme.

The Weymouth and Portland Partnership led the bid, with support form the borough council and will receive £10,000 to establish a Coastal Team of business leaders and councils working together to regenerate the economic prosperity of Weymouth.

Partnership chairman Simon Raynes said: "Being a Coastal Team will galvanise our partnership activity, sharpen our strategic vision and deliver a much needed boost for the community."

Bridport Town Council, the Bridport Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Bridport & District Tourism Association and the Bridport Local Area Partnership worked together to submit their bid, which was supported by the Bridport Area Development Trust, West Bay Community Forum and West Dorset District Council.

Sarah Williams, Leader of Bridport Town Council said: “This is very good news and will enable existing groups to come together to develop an Economic Plan for West Bay and the surrounding area, building on the good partnership working that already exists.

“Issues that could be included in the Plan, and which were in the bid, are further environmental improvements in West Bay; Public Transport – improved connections from West Bay to the town area of Bridport and other areas; additional car parking; tourism/visitor information/Interpretation in West Bay and additional recreation facilities.

“This is a great opportunity for the area and the Town Council is very grateful for the support of all its partners to the bid.”

Richard Smith, President of Bridport Chamber of Trade and Commerce added:

“I am very excited at the possibilities of what this team and the funding can do for Bridport and West Bay. Having met and communicated already with many of the key people involved, it seems there is a real appetite to use this opportunity to do something significant for the benefit of businesses, residents and visitors alike.”

Scott Condliffe, Chair of the Bridport and District Tourism Association commented:

"There is already a great deal of cooperation between Bridport Town Council and many community groups, something which is quite special and doesn't happen everywhere. With the establishment of the Coastal Communities Team, and the benefit of the awarded funds, this is a big opportunity to make significant improvements for local people and visitors."

Maureen Jackson, Chair of the Bridport Local Area Partnership (BLAP) said:

“It is very pleasing that this application has been successful. BLAP represents the wider area and has an existing and long standing coastal communities working group, which looks at issues affecting coastal areas. It looks forward to taking these issues forward as part of the new Team.”