'Marquee for every pub' and extra £6m to make seaside safe

It will cost more to park your car in seafront car parks in 2020/2021 Picture: James Bass

The Government's new Welcome Back Fund means more money for Great Yarmouth as it prepares to reopen to visitors this summer. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Seaside resorts and town centres across Norfolk and Waveney are being handed extra funding to help them safely reopen as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

The Government has announced a £56m nationwide funding pot, aimed at boosting tourism by improving green spaces and providing more outdoor seating areas, markets, and food stall pop-ups.

Some £6m is being allocated nationally to coastal areas bracing themselves for a staycation surge.

Two men have been sentenced for their part in a fracas on Yarmouth seafront Picture: James Bass

A £56m fund announced by the Government on March 20, 2021, sets out ways seaside resorts and high streets can reopen safely. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

The announcement includes new relaxed rules allowing every pub to have a marquee for the whole summer, not just 28 days.

And there is a clampdown on private parking charges with a new appeals process and cap on fines.

Meanwhile, Great Yarmouth and Norwich have been named among the first 70 towns set to benefit from High Street Task Force support.

Under this scheme local authorities will be able to tap into a raft of expertise.

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A statement said they  had been chosen based on levels of deprivation and inequality, alongside research on the impact of Covid-19 on bricks and mortar retail.

Launching the Welcome Back fund communities secretary Robert Jenrick said it would support "a safe and successful reopening of our treasured high streets and seaside resorts."

He said he was "allowing every pub in the country to erect a marquee in their garden for the whole summer."

He added: “As we move to the next stage on the roadmap out of lockdown we are all looking forward to being reunited with friends and family outdoors and making a safe and happy return to our favourite shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.

“Our Welcome Back Fund gives every city, town and high street support to prepare for a great summer.

"This funding will help councils and businesses to welcome shoppers, diners, and tourists back safely."

In total £6.1m has been awarded to the East of England.

Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council's deputy leader, said he welcomed the funding but needed to know more about how much would be coming and how it would be distributed.

"Any money is welcome to help recovery," he said.

"Coastal areas are going to be busy this summer."

The instruction to stay at home is expected to be lifted on March 29 with all other restrictions eased by June 21 under the Government's roadmap.