In November 2020 the Emergency Town Centre Recovery Fund (ETCRF) sub-group approved a proposal to investigate and plan for achieving Blue Flag status for Minehead.
The first phase of the project was to be a scoping report, which was published in July 2021.
An extract from the report:
Accreditation Benefits for Minehead
As a Victorian seaside resort with large tourist providers such as Butlins, Minehead has a long history as an outstanding seaside holiday destination for families, friends, couples and individuals with a passion for the outdoors. Over the past five years, the number of water users has continued to rise, in particular the outdoor swimming and kite surfing culture. Whilst COVID-19 brought many challenges, restrictions on travel emphasised the value of connecting with local nature and engagement in an active lifestyle.
The growth in tourism and water users in Minehead brings local demand for investment into improving the town to support this growth. Through funding provided by the High Street Recovery Fund, the Blue Flag Award presents an important project vehicle to improve the beach environment, water quality, cleanliness, facilities and supports the towns growth and general recovery from COVID-19.
Whilst the project aim is for Minehead to achieve Blue Flag status and accreditation, the journey to get there is even more important. The local town council, county council and district councils alongside statutory and voluntary organisations each have their own responsibilities in managing Minehead beach. The establishment of a beach management
group as a focal point for beach management is a key action and outcome of the Blue Flag award, bringing together key stakeholders and helping to continue positive conversations to protect bathing water quality. This is an essential step towards a more coherent approach for beach management.
Blue Flag accreditation would provide Minehead with a very constructive self-evaluation and audit process of water quality, facilities, services and pro-environmental policy and practice.
From a broader perspective, the achievement of Blue Flag would help to fill the gap in designated sites along the southern coast of the Bristol Channel (Figure 1). For Minehead to achieve Blue Flag status, it would not only be a great asset to the town's credentials but also encourage more people to visit this area of the coastline.
The full report can be downloaded below: