Centre for Coastal Communities Policy Programme
Established in 2019, the Centre for Coastal Communities undertakes research in order to contribute to evidence-based change, identifying where policy has unforeseen consequences for coastal communities, and producing evidence to challenge existing policy discourse and practice for the benefit of coastal communities within the UK.

The Centre is already influencing policy-makers at a national level, with its data and research used, for example, in the Chief Medical Officer’s report (2021), and in a House of Lords Select Committee report on the future of seaside towns (2019). The Centre is also well connected with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coastal Communities (Chaired by Sally-Ann Hart, Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye) and policy stakeholders such as those involved in the Coastal Communities Alliance.
Key questions remain though, such as why particular patterns of deprivation emerge and how complex causes are interlinked, as well as the degree to which the effect is coastal and how to represent this better at a national level through policies such as ‘levelling up’. 

With significant numbers of people in the South West living on the coast, the region holds answers to many of these questions. As such, the Centre is now inviting stakeholders from across the South West region (including those in community-based organisations, local government, and businesses, amongst others), to participate in an exciting new body of work that aims to explore perceptions of the issues faced by communities on the coast, and to understand how the Centre can work with stakeholders to address them.
Key priorities for this programme include: 
  • Identify the current challenges that are facing coastal communities within the South West through a regional survey, in-depth interviews and workshops with key stakeholders.
  • Cultivate Communities of Interest around key themes, spanning across the University of Plymouth and south west partners engaged in Coastal Communities.
  • Develop opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary research that, coproduced with our stakeholders and research users, seeks to understand and address the identified challenges facing coastal communities through collaborative projects.
  • Utilise the research evidence to support stakeholders in their ambitions and to seek to influence national policy.

Get involved

If you are part of an organisation which engages with communities along the coast, we would be extremely interested to hear your views of the current challenges and issues facing coastal communities, and of how you think these can best be addressed. We understand the issues experienced in coastal communities are complex and multifaceted, spanning across health, social, economic, and environmental factors. As such we welcome input from organisations from all sectors.

We will build on the feedback we receive through the survey to inform a series of online interviews and workshops. If you would be interested in participating in either an interview or the workshops, please either email the address below, or state your interest when completing the survey.

<p>Coastal communities policy page. Graphic of colourful 'people' pieces joined with lines on a white background</p>