Sea angling event angers Bridlington businesses

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Media captionMore than 1,000 anglers from across Europe will be competing on East Yorkshire's beaches

A major sea angling event has moved out of an East Yorkshire town for the first time in its 20-year history, sparking anger from some business owners.

The European Open Beach Championship moved to Withernsea after being held in Bridlington for the past 19 years.

The Bridlington Tourism Association said the move would have "a knock-on effect" on local businesses.

But East Riding of Yorkshire Council said the entire Holderness coast would benefit from the new central location.

The event, which takes place this weekend, attracts more than 1,000 competitors from across the UK and Europe.

'Grow and develop'

Kieran Lawry, conference and events officer at the council, said it had generated £250,000 for the economy across the Holderness coast each year since 2008.

"It has been moved to a more central location for this year. The new venue will also allow the event to grow and develop," he said.

Mary Porter, vice president of the Bridlington Tourism Association, which represents accommodation owners in the town, said rooms in Bridlington were normally fully booked for the event.

"We haven't heard of any guesthouses, B&Bs or hotels being booked in Bridlington for the festival this year.

"It used to be a great boost for us all - even down to the paper shop. This is a big let down."

'Sticks in throat'

Image caption Businesses in Bridlington are upset the angling competition has left the town

Graham Collins, who owns an angling shop in the town, said his bait orders had dropped by 50%.

"It's financially hurt me and next year I won't rely on it as much as I've done in the past," said Mr Collins.

Alfred Bunting, an angler based in Bridlington, said: "It's a bit like moving Wimbledon to Birmingham.

"All the people who've supported it in Bridlington have been snubbed. It sticks in the throat."

Margaret Nolan, who runs a pub in Withernsea, said she was happy the event had moved as it would boost businesses in the town.

"The town could do with some help. It's definitely going to make a difference."

Keith Rhodes, who runs a guesthouse in Hornsea, said: "Everyone who owns a guesthouse or B&B from Bridlington to Spurn and Paul should do well out of it.

"I can't imagine where fishermen would go if a lot of them didn't go to Bridlington - there's not that many B&Bs and guesthouses in Hornsea, the majority are in Bridlington."

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