Almost half of the seaside towns given funding in the latest round of Cabe’s programme to regenerate coastal resorts have received £30,000 or less to spend on cultural projects.

A total of 12 councils received funding as part of the second wave of the government-funded £45 million Sea Change scheme, which also involves English Heritage, Arts Council England and lottery bodies.

But critics of the programme have argued the small amounts of money given to five of the towns — Margate, Ilfracombe, Withernsea, North Tyneside and Fleetwood — are not enough to make a difference.

The big winners in the latest round of Sea Change funding, which will provide £15 million a year between 2008 and 2011, were Berwick-upon-Tweed, Bexhill-on-Sea and Weston-super-Mare. Each received around £1 million, while four other councils received between £100,000 and £490,000 each.

A spokesman for North Tyneside Council, which received the lowest amount of funding in this wave, admitted that the money would not go very far.

“It’s not a great deal of money but it gives us a leg-up,” he said.

“We will use this to start developing ideas, then apply for further funding to look at the feasibility of these ideas.”

Architecture minister Barbara Follett said: “I hope [the programme] will continue to be successful, helping to restore our pride in our communities and boost visitor numbers to our much loved coastline.”

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