MORE than £660,000 will be invested in promoting Essex’s 350 miles of coast in a bid to drive tourists to the county.

Essex County Council has been awarded a £663,565 grant from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

The cash will go towards a project - named Path to Prosperity - which aims to showcase the best of the coast from Manningtree to Tilbury.

In total the project will cost £924,896, with County Hall putting in the additional cash.

It aims to promote the coastal path and coastal towns and villages as places for tourists to visit in a bid to drive the economy and regenerate the area.

The coastal path includes Harwich, Clacton, Mersea, Maldon and Burnham.

The project is set to create 277 jobs by promoting the coastal path online, in print and on the airwaves.

It will also create 20 apprenticeship posts which will lead to 15 jobs, addressing skill gaps in coastal towns.

Small and seasonal businesses on the coast will also be helped with training staff in customer service.