The commission will be responsible for allocating £15 million each year towards cultural, arts and public realm projects in a bid to ‘stimulate wider improvements and economic benefits’ in run-down coastal towns.
The programme is being funded by the Departure of Culture Media and Sport, however, the AJ has learned CABE will also look for further cash for the chosen schemes from both public and private sector investors. It will also work in partnership with The Big Lottery Fund.
Richard Simmons, CABE chief executive, said: ‘This is a chance for British seaside resorts to recapture the flair and importance they held in the Victorian age.’
He added: ‘There are already some wonderful examples of good design and cultural investment breathing life back into our coastal towns - just think of Heatherwick's East Beach Cafe in Littlehampton, or Cleveleys in Lancashire, where even coastal protection defences can be made beautiful enough to attract more visitors.’
CABE will seek advice from the Regional Development Agencies to help identify ‘areas in particular need of investment’ and is to team up with English Heritage, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Arts Council England.