Coastal Communities coastal definition, the Hoe, seafront, waves, Plymouth sound
Based in one of Britain’s major coastal cities, the Centre for Coastal Communities brings together one of the few critical masses of academic researchers in any UK university, who have a proven track record on coastal communities and strong collaborative links with public, private and third sectors. Working with our partners, we are uniquely placed to co-ordinate problem identification and co-create solutions, committing to an area of research that traditionally has seen limited investigation of the problems.
Unemployment, low incomes, seasonal jobs, low educational attainment, poor social mobility, high rates of anti-depressant and opioid prescribing, and poor health outcomes mean coastal communities are facing a high burden of health challenges. The ‘levelling up' of Britain’s periphery to create dynamic, thriving coastal communities is difficult to achieve.

Our mission:

To advance new approaches and transform thinking to address 21st-century challenges facing coastal communities


Current funded projects

Towards a new coastal classification 

The University of Plymouth’s Centre for Coastal Communities (CfCC) has been funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to co-design, implement and make publicly available an evidence-based and policy-orientated classification of English coastal communities linked to suitably granular data. 

South-West Coastal Local Policy Innovation Partnership (SWC LPIP)

Working in partnership across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, this project will develop a comprehensive understanding of the problems Southwest coastal communities are facing, and collaboratively co-design the best solutions to these challenges.   

Research themes


Working in partnership

Partner case studies

Collaborating nationally – the Coastal ARC Group

A number of NIHR funded Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) have been working together to collaborate on co-developing and evaluating public health initiatives to improve health and wellbeing and address health inequalities within depressed coastal populations and areas. These represent peripheral areas in the North West, North East, East, South East and South West of England. All of the participating ARCs work well with their Local Authorities and other key partners. This grouping also provides opportunities to scale up research initiatives to support generalisability.
For more information about the Coastal ARC group, please contact Professor Mark Gabbay:
Plymouth Pioneers.  Professor Sheena Asthana

Promoting policy to end coastal poverty

The Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research brings together world-leading research from across the University to improve the health and care of the South West and beyond. Professor Sheena Asthana, the Institute's director, is a leading advocate for improved distribution of funds to ensure fairer access to healthcare for all, focusing her attention on communities disproportionately lacking in support.
"We need to make a better clarification between addressing health inequalities and promoting equal access to equal need; making sure that the people who need the healthcare access are able to get it, and it’s not dependent on a postcode lottery." – Professor Sheena Asthana 


Centre for Coastal Communities news

Pollack (Pollachius pollachius)
Study furthers aim of offering new insights into pollack populations

Scientists and anglers say the announcement of new management measures on pollack fishing highlights the urgent need for more data

11 December 2023