AN MP has welcomed a special new status he says will bring a "huge boost" to jobs and investment.

HARWICH and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin said the process to become an Assisted Area had been a long haul but the coastal areas now had the means to prosper.

“I am overjoyed about this,” he said.

“For decades we have been explaining to government that Essex as a whole may be a very prosperous county, but coastal areas have found it much harder to attract jobs and investment, we have concentrations of high unemployment and economic and social deprivation."