Seaside resorts urged to step back in time: Weston-super-Mare tries to sweep away Sixties gaudiness and recapture Edwardian elegance

THE EDWARDIAN elegance of many of Britain's seaside resorts has been replaced by Sixties tat, according to the English Tourist Board. Many resorts with a proud heritage have opted instead for a candyfloss gloss and now they are suffering a loss of revenue.

The ETB believes that seaside resorts would be more attractive to visitors if they conserved their old buildings properly. Many charming Victorian and Edwardian seafronts have been ruined by poor-quality shopfronts, crude signs, car parks or simple neglect. Since 1980 there has been a 24 per cent reduction in the number of Britons taking holidays in Britain. When the decline began in the Sixties, many seaside resorts panicked and went down-market. Nevertheless, some 11 million trips, worth about pounds 2.4bn a year, are made by British families to the seaside each year.

John East, chairman of the ETB, said: 'Many British seaside resorts, developed in the late 19th and early 20th century, lacked resources to invest in updated accommodation, attractions and infrastructure needed to attract new generations of holidaymakers, and have consequently declined both as tourism destinations and as places to live and work.'

The board has helped Weston- super-Mare, near Bristol, to make the most of its proud heritage and hopes that this example may be copied by other seaside towns. Following advice from the Civic Trust, which is concerned with the quality of urban life, Weston-super-Mare has begun to improve its promenade and the adjoining area. Bob Acland, director of marketing for Woodspring District Council, which encompasses the town, said: 'The Civic Trust pointed out to us an untidy compound near the seafront where we kept a skip and hand trolleys to tidy up the beach. It only cost a few hundred pounds to move it. We are now planting shrubs and trees and it is already looking a lot better.'

The council has also modernised the Winter Gardens, built between the wars for dancing and entertainment, while preserving the historic frontage on the promenade. The Civic Trust's report on the resort suggests a long list of further changes which the council intends to make over the next few years. Many are not particularly expensive but will take time to implement because they require agreement of individuals or companies.

'Next we aim to improve Spider Lane, which is the main pedestrian route from the centre of the town down to the seafront,' Mr Acland said. 'We want to remove a wooden fence so that people can glimpse the seafront as they are approaching it.'

The plan for improving the resort also includes training in how to help visitors. A quarter of the town is employed in the tourist industry and the council aims to train them to show visitors the way or tell them what is on at the local theatre. There are also plans to provide entertainment on the beach and in the streets this summer and to make it easy for visitors to go to the nearby countryside.

Ken Lacey, a councillor, was sceptical about the plan at first but has been converted. 'We never had to sell ourselves before,' he said. 'But we realised that we had to do something so in 1989 we set up a marketing department for Weston and then it really took off.'

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum