Bacta, the trade association for the UK’s amusement and gaming machine industry, has launched its Siding with the Seaside campaign, designed to persuade the government to invest and support in the regeneration of Britain’s seaside towns.

Recent years has seen the UK’s coastal towns face challenging economic conditions. Bacta’s campaign will help raise awareness that more needs to be done to improve often deprived communities and economically underperforming resorts.

Tourism is key to the economic success of these towns and Bacta argues that government policies must prioritise initiatives to allow tourism to thrive and provide the investment for local businesses to help attract more visitors.

Bacta is urging the government to invest in several key areas to provide seaside towns with the attention they need.

These essential areas include the prioritising of regeneration, introducing local development programmes, invest in infrastructure, address charges for car parks, reduce tax burdens for amusements to help preserve historical sites, and to approve the Tourism Sector Deal.

The Tourism Sector Deal was announced in November 2018 and will see the government enter an official negotiation with the tourism industry designed to attract more domestic and overseas visitors to help drive significant economic growth.

John White, CEO at Bacta, commented on the Siding with the Seaside campaign:

“The British seaside continues to be a magnet for tourism and an economic engine for coastal communities. The hospitality industry, of which we are part of, employs 1 in 10 people in coastal towns and is responsible for 250 million annual visits, contributing £1.7bn to the economy. Brighton Pier attracts an estimated 4.6 million visitors a year, more than the Tower of London or the V&A.

“Seaside amusements are a quintessential part of British culture dating back to before WWI and this campaign is about preserving Britain’s history of seaside fun for future generations to enjoy. Seaside Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) are an important part of coastal communities, providing essential income for families, but also preserving our heritage.”