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THE EDWARDIAN elegance of many of Britain's seaside resorts has been replaced by Sixties tat, according to the English Tourist Board.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
News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
News
i100
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Arts and Entertainment
A shared vision: Cerys Matthews has been familiarising herself with Dylan Thomas’s material, for a revealing radio programme
arts + entsA singer, her uncle and a special relationship with Dylan Thomas
News
In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
life
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
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

SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?