Three of Southend-on-Sea’s beaches have retained their prestigious Blue Flag, with all seven awarded the ‘Seaside Award’, Keep Britain Tidy have announced today.
It means that East Beach, Shoebury Common and Thorpe Bay beaches will join 65 others across England in flying a Blue Flag Award this Summer.
The awards are the quality marks for our beaches and mean those visiting them can be sure that they are clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as the tough international bathing water quality standards.
A new survey carried out for Keep Britain Tidy shows that nine out of ten people said cleanliness, safety and assured water quality were key factors in deciding which beach to visit and 93% believe that it is important to preserve and protect our beaches.
In addition, Chalkwell, Jubilee, Bell Wharf and Three Shells (along with the four awarded the Blue Flag) will join another 110 that have been presented with the Seaside Award by Keep Britain Tidy. The Seaside Award recognises beaches that are well-managed and maintained.
Scott Dolling, Director of Culture, Tourism and Property, said: “This is fantastic news for Southend’s visitor economy which supports around 7,000 jobs and brings over 6 million visitors to our town each year.
“It is extra pleasing as this is the first full summer season we are entering with our seafront lagoon project complete, which enables visitors to bathe in the sea even when the tide is out.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “It is great news for holiday-makers, overseas visitors and businesses that rely on coastal tourism that we have been able to award so many flags this year.
“The success of our beaches in reaching the very high standards demanded by both awards is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our beaches – from beach managers to local people and businesses.
“When you enjoy a day on the beach flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award, you know you are on one of the safest, cleanest and very best in the country.”