TOWN Hall bosses have allocated £100,000 to boost businesses following a decline in economic growth in Clacton.

Tendring Council has refreshed its ten year growth strategy, which dates back to 2013, partly due to decline in economic performance in parts of the district, including in Clacton and Jaywick.

The new Tendring Economic Strategy, which will run until 2024, will place greater focus on Clacton and Jaywick and calls for “bold” action in Clacton town centre recognising that its future is unlikely to be led by the retail offer alone.

Since 2013, there has been a seven per cent decline in employment in Clacton and a 13 per cent decline in Jaywick.

Halstead Gazette:

  • Closed - the former Marks and Spencer store in Pier Avenue, Clacton.

In comparison, there’s been a 20 per cent increase in the Harwich and Frinton areas.

The new plans also calls for a “balance in the evolution” of Harwich as a port with the development of the visitor economy in the town.

It also said the focus of growth needs to be based around the care and clean energy sectors as well as the need to be alive to opportunities in the rural economy, culture, creativity and tourism.

There will also be a focus on the higher growth companies in the district and enlisting their experience and know-how to support new and existing firms in Tendring.

Halstead Gazette:

  • Boss - Mary Newton, Tendring Council’s cabinet member for business.

Mary Newton, Tendring Council’s cabinet member for business, said: “It should be noted that work on the council’s refreshed economic strategy concluded well in advance of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has subsequently had such a devastating short-term impact on the UK’s economy.

“Immediate project interventions arising from the strategy should be influenced, guided and moulded by the need to help existing businesses recover from the lockdown.

“This could mean in the early years of delivery, greater emphasis is placed upon the need to provide tailored business support and as appropriate financial aid, to help businesses get back to their pre-Covid position with regard to market share, turnover and prospects for growth.”

She added the strategy needed to be refreshed in order to better understand the “under-performance” of Tendring’s economy.

The council’s cabinet has now approved the updated strategy and allocated £100,000 from the business investment and growth budget to deliver it.

Halstead Gazette:

  • Closed - the former Mothercare shop in Pier Avenue, Clacton.

Carlo Guglielmi, the council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “A refresh of the strategy was much-needed and is important for going forward with our Local Plan.

“There are some staggering figures there that 9,000 people are self-employed in Tendring and over 10,000 go out of district to work and make a living.

“Let’s hope with various projects and the Back to Business recovery initiative we create more jobs in our district.”

Ivan Henderson, leader of the council’s Labour group, said: “We do need to do more financial intervention to help business.“I think we, as a council, need to look at satellite business centres for future job opportunities and also for education due to the lack of transport issues.”

He added that the council is “not going to get anywhere” with clean energy opportunities at Harwich Port unless they can pressure Hutchison Ports to remove its current restrict use for Bathside Bay.