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Dawlish sea wall contributes £3 million to South Devon economy

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Work to rebuild and improve the sea wall at Dawlish has resulted in £3 million being spent locally in south Devon between June 2019 and May 2020 by Network Rail and its contractors.

By the time the first section of the new sea wall is completed in summer this year Network Rail and main contractor BAM Nuttall expect to spend a further £1.56 million in south Devon on local labour, materials and accommodation bringing the total spend in the local economy to nearly £5 million.

This boost to the local economy of Dawlish and Teignbridge comes as a result of Network Rail and BAM Nuttall committing to spend as much money locally as possible whilst they build the new sea wall, which will help protect the railway and town from rising sea levels and extreme weather for generations to come.

In addition, the team building the sea wall estimates that it will spend a further £5m locally as part of the plans to complete the second section of the new sea wall. Network Rail’s plans for this second phase, which will be 410 metres in length from Colonnade underpass towards Dawlish Warren, are expected to be submitted to Teignbridge District Council in the next month. The government has committed £80 million of funding to complete the upgrade of the Dawlish sea wall.

Network Rail’s Western route director Mike Gallop said: “I am delighted that we’ve spent nearly £5m with local suppliers and businesses in the Dawlish and Teignbridge area as a result of the first section of the new sea wall.

“We are committed to continuing to support the local economy, particularly in these difficult times. The proposed second section, which would continue the new sea wall north-eastwards adjacent to the station, is likely to bring in another £5m to be spent locally with contractors, suppliers and accommodation providers. I know how vital this will be for many businesses struggling to cope with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Phil Bowcock, operations manager at BAM Nuttall, added: “BAM Nuttall have a history of working at Dawlish since 2014. We are proud to continue this association with the area and help secure this vital piece of the UK railway. We have and will continue, through close collaboration, engage with local people, suppliers and stakeholders to support the local economy.

“This project is of great benefit to local people and the South West Region. BAM are really proud to be involved in such a great legacy.”

From June 2019 to May 2020 a total of £3,012,112 was spent locally. This includes a spend of £689,865 on local labour and £170,000 on accommodation, hotels, restaurants and in local shops.

Between now and first phase of the new sea wall being complete this summer, it is estimated a further £1.22 million will be spent with local businesses and suppliers. A further £250,000 will be spent on local labour and £80,000 on local accommodation, hotels, restaurants and in local shops.

This would bring the final spend locally during the first phase of the sea wall to £4.56m.

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