A seaside town in East Yorkshire is often overlooked in favour of its better-known neighbours.

With its stunning sandy beaches and charming town centre, it's a surprise that Withernsea is not as popular as neighbouring destinations like Scarborough, Whitby and Bridlington, which are heaving throughout the summer months. The town has many of the same attractions, like sandy beaches, idyllic views, arcades, ice cream parlours and fish and chip shops. Local opinion is mixed over the town's relative obscurity.

While some love the quiet "time-warped" atmosphere that makes it a peaceful retreat, particularly for pensioners, others are concerned about the economic stagnation and the closure of independent businesses. This has been largely due to a lack of footfall and the economic struggles in Withernsea. English indices of deprivation suggest that half of the homes in the town are ranked among the most-impoverished in the UK.

According to the English indices of deprivation half of the homes in Withernsea East and Patrington are struggling with poverty. The town has 5,766 residents inside a 1.2-mile radius. Several initiatives have been launched to regenerate the town and support local businesses. Peter Ashworth, 28, moved from Bradford to Withernsea and claims that the area has declined since they moved. He appreciated the peaceful environment but still worries about town apathy and the high turnover of stores. Speaking to Yorkshire Live, Peter said: "We get fancy little shops which open, but they only last a few months. It feels more like a dying seaside town. We used to holiday here, and it was always bustling, but that’s rarely the case nowadays."

Richard and Sharron Mennell, pensioners who moved to the town from West Yorkshire more than two decades ago, have similar concerns. They're content with their life beside the sea but feel the town has been forgotten. "A lot of people don’t know Withernsea exists," Sharron noted. "It seems to jump from Hornsea right to the other side of the estuary."

Tory councillor for East Riding and cafe owner Paul Whitehead doesn't share the same outlook and argues the town is "thriving", pointing to its affordable housing and upcoming developments as positive indicators. He explained: "The house prices are still relatively low compared to the UK average and yet significantly increasing. Businesses that are established are doing well, and there’s a £600,000 investment being put into the Promenade."

Regeneration and funding group manager for the council Helena Moss said that the town is important for the region, and that several projects are underway to bring it back to its former glory. Among them are the South Withernsea Coastal Defence Scheme, which was completed in 2020, as well as efforts underway to revitalise the seafront based on feedback from residents. Twenty-four high street businesses have also benefitted from the Love Your High Street Funding scheme, which includes more than £100,000 being allocated for shop front improvements.

2024-07-10T10:56:03Z dg43tfdfdgfd