By Daniel Hunter

Following a successful first year, coastal communities across the United Kingdom are getting another chance to receive a multi-million pound boost from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF).

Applications for this year’s pot of £27.8 million will open on 13 March 2013. The funds available have increased by over £4 million from last year’s £23.7 million, allowing even more communities to benefit from awards to boost their economic development.

In 2012, projects from Skye down to Plymouth and from Rhyl across to Hastings received funding to develop their areas, helping to create and safeguard 5,000 jobs. The CCF supported many new infrastructure developments including on the Isle of Gigha , Blyth, and Glenarm in the Scottish Highlands, Scarborough and Somerset. The fund has also supported new schemes such as water sports, cycling, and boat building.

The CCF is financed by the Government through the allocation of funding equivalent to 50 per cent of the revenues from the Crown Estate’s marine activities. Successful projects are expected to have a significant impact on their local economy and were chosen because of their ability to support sustainable growth and jobs in coastal communities.

“Last year we helped organisations around the UK invest in their communities through the Coastal Communities Fund, and I’m delighted that growing marine revenues from the Crown Estate have allowed us to increase the pot by over 15 per cent this year,” Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said.

“From transforming the Kintyre Way, developing a falconry centre in Conway and giving Swanage and Wareham back their rail link, the funding has made a huge difference to small communities across the UK. The fund was a huge success last year and I’m sure year two will be just as popular.”

Last year, applications came from a wide range of sectors including apprenticeships schemes such as shellfish farming in Cornwall and Sea Training for young people in Lowestoft. The Fund also had successful bids from environmental projects in Larne Lough, Northern Ireland and Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network, as well as those working in charities, education and health.

The CCF is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of Government, operating under the name Big Fund. Applicants should submit an application for stage one application by 17 April 2013 for projects in Wales, and by 26 April 2013 for projects in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Dates for England will be announced shortly. Applicants should contact the Big Fund with enquiries.

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