A NEW group has been formed in a bid to turn Clacton’s image around - and bring back it’s glory days.

A special group has been formed with the private and public sector joining forces to raise the profile of its attractions, natural environment, and heritage to pull in the visitors.

The Clacton Coastal Tourism Group met for the first time and vowed to work together in a bid to bring back the town’s glory days.

It was recognised there is a need restore passion and pride; make the most of the strength and assets already in place and for the group to act as a catalyst to grow the offer.

Funding is available and efforts will be made to tap into as much as possible for new projects, both large and small.

Two of the major issues the group felt need urgent attention are the lack of accommodation and shortage of parking.

Both must be addressed if more visitors are to be brought into Clacton and there was a call for up to date data on the number of bed spaces and parking spaces available.

It was also felt it was important to take into accounts residents who are customers all year round and help keep businesses afloat.

Billy Ball of Clacton Pier, who will initially chair the group, said he was very encouraged by the response at the initial meeting and the willingness of the invited businesses to get on board.

“We do not want this to be just a talking shop and we are not only looking ahead – we want to make a difference this season,” he added.

“It’s all about having a voice and making a positive impact now. There will be new smaller initiatives we may be able to fund ourselves and bigger ones where we will require outside funding.

“We want to turn the town’s image around and make it a destination of choice where all ages and tastes can be met.”

There is a willingness to involve volunteers and volunteer organisations; come up with new events; look at benefit of social media and marketing campaigns and discover influencers and ambassadors for Clacton.

Mike Carran, Tendring Council’s Assistant Director for Economic Growth and Leisure, is excited to be part of the group.

“This really is a good news story for Clacton and it now feels like the time is right for this partnership,” he said.

“The council will help and support as much as it can. Around £60 million is coming to Clacton in Government funding and this will help attract other money. We need to seize this opportunity with both hands.”