A £2MILLION cashpot to help regenerate the country’s most deprived ward has been slashed to just £85,000.

The windfall was meant to be a major boost for Jaywick and give run-down properties a vital facelift.

But now the £2million that was promised has been cut by more than 95 per cent.

The move has outraged community leaders who described the reduced figure as a “drop in the ocean”.

The Essex County Council grant will be used to improve street lighting, roads and drainage, and regeneration projects run by Tendring Council.

Local councillors Dan Casey and Nick Brown called for much more to be done to regenerate the ward, which was officially listed as the most deprived in 2011.

Mr Casey said County Hall initally set aside £2million for Jaywick in 2008 to help sub-standard properties, but that the fund had now been reduced to £85,000 due to Government cuts.

“Everybody seems to be telling me it’s wonderful, but it doesn’t seem so wonderful to me,” he said.

“We are grateful for the £85,000, but when it started at £2million that sum is a drop in the ocean.

“I think what we are just getting the crumbs off the table."

But Kevin Bentley, who is also County Hall’s economic growth and infrastructure boss, said the money was "good news" for Jaywick.

“I am pleased the county council has been able to fund this regeneration work in Jaywick," he said.

"I hope these improvements will help to attract businesses and visitors to the area to help boost the town’s economy.”