STORM-HIT coastal towns in Cornwall are being encouraged to bid for a cut of a £64 million fund to help regenerate their communities.
Government ministers have said areas worst affected by the recent bad weather would be prioritised in the next round of bidding for the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF).
The news means that towns such as Penzance – which missed out on the last round of CCF funding to repair the damaged Jubilee Pool – could stand a better chance of securing a cut of the money.
The fund was set up to pump government money into depressed coastal areas across the UK and is administered by the Big Lottery Fund.
It was announced on Friday that 50 projects would share a cut of £27 million. While Penzance lost out, Carbis Bay Hotel near St Ives bagged £525,000 towards its beachfront regeneration scheme.
The project will create more than 65 jobs, a water sports centre, conference and wedding room plus a community hub.
Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has now declared the next round of bidding open.
It will support £64m of projects across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland over the next three years, with priority given to flood defences and repair.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "We want to help our seaside towns affected by the recent flooding get back on their feet as soon as possible.
"In England, nearly three-quarters of these regeneration projects funded today are in flood affected areas and our support will help these communities show they are 'back in business'."
Adam Paynter, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for partnerships, said the CCF team had encouraged Penzance to make a new bid for money.
The Coastal Communities Fund was set up in 2012 to try to help deprived coastal towns create new business opportunities, jobs and skills that will benefit the area.