Penny Mordaunt MP Visits the Coast Path to Discuss Storm Damage

25th September 2014

The new Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt MP visited the South West Coast Path at Thurlestone, South Devon, earlier this week.

The South West Coast Path Association (SWCPA) has recently secured over £500,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund to spend on much needed repairs to sections of the 630 mile path that suffered from the storms of the past two winters.

Penny Mordaunt MP said: “I know how important the Coast Path is to the local and regional economy and I am very glad to hear about the support of local tourism businesses for this work to make repairs. It is evident that you are all working hard together to get the path fixed.”

As a result of money secured from the local appeal and Devon County Council, today, a new bridge has been opened on the approach to Hope Cove, a mile or so from Thurlestone. Since February walkers had needed to follow an inland alternative route, but with the new bridge this is no longer necessary. A queue of walkers had been forming all morning as the last preparations to open the bridge took place!

Hope Cove BridgeThe South Hams was one of the worst affected parts of the Coast Path in the winter storms over the last two years. After speaking to local businesses and those that help to maintain the Coast Path at The Thurlestone Hotel, those assembled walked to the Thurlestone Golf Club to meet Club Manager Steve Gledhill to view the damage to the path nearby. The funds from the Coastal Communities fund will enable this section to be repaired along with over 30 others around the coast.

Locally over £15,000 has been raised for the South Hams Appeal, by local business and individuals passionate about keeping the Coast Path open. Once the target of £20,000 is reached, this money will release another £60,000 from the new funding so that delivery partners Devon County Council and The South West Coast Path Team are able to make full repairs. In other areas Cornwall Council and the National Trust will also be able to make other much needed repairs. If the target is exceeded, any surplus will be used on other local Coast Path improvements and repairs, so every pound donated will help make the path even better.

Esther Pearson, Business Development Manager for SWCPA said: “We are really grateful to the local business community and individual supporters of the path for helping us to secure this two year project funding. We also thank Penny Mordaunt MP for visiting the Coast Path to see the impact that recent storms have had on this coastline. Looking ahead we need to build up sustainable funding sources so that we are able to ensure that the path remains the best and most walked National Trail in the UK.”

To find out more about the South Hams Appeal go to:

www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/south-hams-appeal

To see the changes to the route at Hope Cove go to:

www.southwestcoastpath.com/diversiondb/8/

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Penny Morduant views storm damage on the South West Coast Path