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Yorkshire Coast's Beaches to Turn Blue

Yorkshire Coast's Beaches to Turn Blue

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 3:09pm 4th November 2010.

A MULTI-MILLION programme of work was officially launched today with the aim of turning Yorkshire’s beaches and bathing waters into the best in Europe.

The five-year initiative will deliver environmental improvements along 50-miles of coastline, stretching from Withernsea to Staithes.

The aim is to ensure that Yorkshire’s bathing waters can achieve a new “excellent” standard due to come into force in 2015 as part of the European Revised Bathing Water Directive.

Addressing councillors at a news conference at Scarborough’s Spa complex today, Chief Executive of Welcome To Yorkshire Gary Verity warned that, in future, only where bathing waters met the new, tighter, environmental standard, would local councils be able to apply for a coveted European Blue Flag.

He added being able to fly Blue Flags at all eight of Yorkshire’s resort beaches would provide a major boost for the local tourist economy, which is why a range of organisations had decided to work together to deliver the necessary improvements.

These include Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency, Scarborough Borough Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, North Yorkshire County Council, the National Farmers Union and Defra.


“Our aspiration is to see Blue Flags flying along our entire coastline.
This would give us a higher concentration of Blue Flags than the likes of Portugal, a country widely regarded as having some of the finest beaches and bathing waters in Europe.”,


“However, we will only be able to achieve this ambitious goal if the various organisations whose activities can impact on bathing water quality come together and work together. Today they have made that commitment. It’s great news for Yorkshire,” said Mr Verity.

Councillors heard that the chances of success had been given a major boost by the news that Yorkshire Water had secured £110 million of funding to further upgrade its waste water facilities on the east coast.

Graham Dixon, Yorkshire Water’s Director of Production, said:

“The way Yorkshire Water operates its treatment works, sewers and overflows can have a major impact on the quality of some local bathing waters, so securing this funding has given Yorkshire the best possible chance of achieving the new excellent standard. We are fully-committed to playing our part and look forward to working with those other organisations whose activities can also impact on the marine environment. If we are to succeed, we must all do our bit.”

David Dangerfield, Regional Director of the Environment Agency, said:

“Our coastline is a wonderful, natural environment, vital to the wellbeing and prosperity of many people. We are delighted to be part of the team that is taking on the challenge of bringing excellent bathing water quality to Yorkshire.  We will continue to work with others to identify and reduce potential sources of pollution because everyone has a role to play in boosting the quality of our bathing waters.”

Jim Dillon, Chief Executive of Scarborough Borough Council, said:

“Tourism is the lifeblood of our east coast resorts, so being able to boast the best beaches and bathing waters in Europe would provide a major shot in the arm for the economy of the region.

“We have already been working with the various agencies involved to pull together bathing water profiles and action plans. In the future, councils will also be required to provide more information at local beaches about bathing water quality, so we’re exploring the best way to make this information available and accessible to all,” he added.

Coun Stephen Parnaby, OBE, Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council,
said:

"Every year we are delighted to welcome visitors from all corners of the globe to the East Riding of Yorkshire. Many of these visitors are keen to enjoy our breathtaking coastline and we are determined that they should have the best possible stay and look forward to coming back again in future.

"Whether they come from the local area, from elsewhere in the UK, or from the rest of the world - we know how highly our visitors value safe, clean water. That is why we are pleased to be working so closely with our partners on this fantastic new scheme which will help to boost water quality along our coastline,” he added.

Andy Cummins, Surfers Against Sewage Campaign Director said:

“Surfers Against Sewage warmly welcomes Yorkshire Water’s commitment to achieving excellent water quality standards for all their bathing waters from 2015 onwards.  We commend Yorkshire Water as the only water company in the UK to focus on the higher excellent standard. Yorkshire’s water users and beach lovers should be extremely proud of Yorkshire Water’s commitment.”

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