CLACTON MP says he will ensure the Tendring coast is “not overlooked” again by County Hall as part of a £925,000 project to boost tourism in Essex.

Giles Watling has welcomed the Path to Prosperity project, which will see a coastal pathway created from Manningtree to Tilbury.

The project will promote Essex’s 350 miles of coast in a bid to drive tourists to the county and boost regeneration.

Essex County Council has been awarded a £663,565 grant from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund for the scheme, with County Hall putting in the additional cash.

Mr Watling welcomed the Government cash, which will promote the entire Essex coast as a high-quality visitor destination with a diverse tourism offer.

He has written to Essex County Council to find out how the funding will be spent, as “the Clacton constituency has been overlooked by similar funding schemes in the past”.

In his response, David Finch, leader of Essex County Council, said there will be “wide-ranging opportunities” for Essex, including in the Clacton constituency.

It is envisaged that most of the ‘key aspects’ of the project will be delivered in Clacton.

The key aspects include a promotional campaign, the design and installation of ‘location -centric’ maps at bus stops and railway stations and additional public rights of way.

There will also be a pilot of a peak season hopper bus service, apprenticeships to target gaps in coastal businesses, training support for small and seasonal businesses, art and photography courses on the coast, an audit of tourism attractions and the delivery of an ‘interactive digital tool’ to enable visitors to create itineraries.

Mr Watling said: “I am extremely grateful to Mr Finch for this response, I am extremely encouraged by what I have read.

“The Clacton constituency has a proud history as a visitor destination, and the potential to be so again.

“But we have been overlooked by similar funding schemes in the past, and I am delighted that this does not seem to be the case this time.

“The Sunshine Coast makes up about ten per cent of Essex’s 360-mile coastline and this scheme will attract tourists to our area, which will create the prosperity that we all want to see.

“I look forward to receiving further updates and will ensure that we get our fair share.”

It is expected that the project will create 277 jobs by promoting the coastal path.

It will also create 20 apprenticeship posts which will lead to 15 jobs, addressing skill gaps in coastal towns, as well as help with customer service.