Almost £16 million in government grants is being given to 20 coastal towns to spend on job creation and environmental improvement.

Those to benefit include Hastings, Torbay, Seaburn, Great Yarmouth, Whitby and Ramsgate.

The Coastal Communities Fund was created last year to boost coastal areas which have suffered “decades of economic decline”.

The money comes from the Crown Estates which owns the rights to fish farms, wind farms, ports and marinas.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said the funding would “probably” create about 4,000 jobs.

He said: “It’s a really exciting announcement. What we are talking about is putting an extra £15.5m into our coastal towns.

“We are rewarding really good schemes and it’s going to create probably about 4,000 jobs. Some of those are going to be training places as well.”

The funding includes £800,000 to develop the North York Moors heritage railway service to link Whitby to the North York Moors National Park and £1.5 million to reinstate a railway link between Wareham and Swanage in Dorset.