Published: 00:01, 29 June 2017
A bid for hundreds of thousands of pounds could see Deal’s seafront transformed to make the town a “destination of choice” for cycling and walking holidays in the down season.
Deal Town Council is working on a regeneration scheme promoting green travel, for people coming by train and bike.
It works with businesses and B&Bs to make venues more wheelchair and cycle friendly and is aimed to create more jobs.
Cllr Sue Beer, who joined Deal Town Council in November 2016, is spearheading the grant application to the government’s Coastal Community Fund, which previously awarded other towns more than a million pounds for similar projects.
The former grants officer for Kent County Council said: “Deal looks like a thriving town and most of the time it is, but in the spring, autumn and winter, lots of small businesses still struggle so that’s what’s we’re working on now.
“We want to help the tourism industry do more in the down season.
“We want to focus on green travel especially cycling so that’s people who might come to Deal on a train or bus for a walking or cycling holiday.”
Ideas being put forward include streetscape works between The Royal Hotel and the Pier as well as enhancing the High Street with more accessible doorways.
She said: “We want to make all the shops easy to get inside if you’ve got a buggy or a wheelchair. The money could also help fit automatic doors or ramps.”
The funding could also be dished out as grants to help small businesses like B&Bs to become more cycle friendly, with bicycle lock up facilities and repair services. There will also be improvements to cycle paths.
She said: “We’re also thinking of doing more events and festivals but in the autumn and winter months.”
Cllr Mike Eddy said: “Deal has got immense potential and what we want to try and do is really build on that and get this place into the best shape for the future.”
Cllr Nick Tomaszewski added: “Deal is a great place and it’s good to see local people enhancing and enriching the town.”
People are invited to find out more about the bid and have their say on the grant application at the Town Hall tomorrow (Thursday) at 7pm.
Town clerk Lorna Crow said: “If you would like to have your say about Deal Town Council’s project and make an input into the plans please come along.”
There will be a presentation and light refreshments.
It is hoped the application will be submitted by the autumn and if successful work could start as early as next year.
Find out more by calling Deal Town Council on 01304 361999.