HC Deb 10 July 2000 vol 353 c399W
Mr. Fearn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what recent steps his Department has taken to(a) help regenerate coastal resorts and (b) improve bathing water quality. [129951]

Ms Beverley Hughes

We are continuing to address the needs of disadvantaged areas, including coastal resorts, though our regeneration programmes. Recent steps includeRunning Round 6 of the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) where 20 per cent. of new SRB resources are targeted on areas, including coastal towns, which are outside the most deprived districts. Bids for resources are currently being considered for schemes commencing summer 2000 onwards. Round 2 of the New Deal for Communities (NDC) also includes assistance to some coastal towns; Enabling more coastal resorts to be eligible to receive European Structural Funds. The 2000–06 Objective 1 programmes for South Yorkshire, Cornwall and Merseyside are expected to be formally approved shortly. The Commission formally approved the Objective 2 map for 2000–2006 programmes on 30 March. This includes more coastal areas than before. The Objective 2 programmes are currently under negotiation and we expect them to be approved before the end of the year; Securing substantial additional investment by water companies to raise bathing water compliance with the normal EU quality standard to 97 per cent. by 2005 and to help more resorts reach the higher standard needed to gain 'Blue Flag' status.

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