Coastal communities deprivation, ruined building
In 2007, the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee deemed seaside towns as one of the least understood of Britain’s ‘problem areas’, due to the mix of economic, social and environmental issues. 
What does deprivation look like? 
  • Semi-redundant tourist accommodation (Stallinbrass, 1980) 
  • Low house prices 
  • Low rates of economically active people 
  • High pensioner and single-parent households
This is compounded by: 
  • low-cost housing 
  • multi-occupancy dwellings to house vulnerable people e.g. children in care or ex-offenders 
  • cultural and social displacement causing an exodus of young people with higher qualifications and those staying tend to be from poorer backgrounds.
This can create an unstable community and place considerable strain on local services. Research has also highlighted the prevalence of poor mental health in coastal communities with a reliance upon a visitor economy that is seasonal and volatile. 

Enabling solutions to coastal deprivation

Disadvantage in English seaside resorts: A typology of deprived neighbourhoods

Led by Professor Sheela Agarwal
Project Team: Dr Steven Jakes, Dr Stephen Essex, Dr Martin Mowforth and Professor Stephen Page (University of Hertfordshire).
Funded by University of Plymouth
Examining the nature and extent of disadvantage in English seaside resorts, Professor Agarwal analysed a specific devised spatial and temporal database made up of various publicly available sources that went beyond census and the Index of Multiple Deprivation. 
Using univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses of this database, a new typology of highly deprived resort neighbourhoods was devised, with clear implications for the formulation of more targeted policy responses. 
The results also indicate the persistence, complexity and distinct spatial clustering of deprivation, which establishes a case for a much stronger geographical emphasis in future research and policy agendas, including third sector partnerships. 

The influence of in-migration on social exclusion in English seaside resorts 

Led by Professor Sheela Agarwal
Project Team Dr Steven Jakes and Professor Stephen Page (University of Hertfordshire)
Funded by University of Plymouth
Investigating the motivations, skills and aspirations of in-migrants to Hastings, Professor Agarwal leads on this project to explore the relationship between in-migration and disadvantage. She will examine who the in-movers are and what attracted them to Hastings. This includes: 
  • the young and middle-aged 
  • recent and older in-movers 
  • those who are semi-retired 
  • those looking for a lifestyle change 
Professor Agarwal will look at their motivations, skills, qualifications, aspirations and the impact on Hastings in relation to disadvantage. What skills, economic, social and cultural capital, and qualifications do those who have relocated to Hastings bring with them? Are they able to access further and higher education? What kinds of employment do they seek, have or aspire to? Do they wish to engage in further or higher education? What is the impact of their life histories on their current situation? 
Getty images. Saunton Sands beach sea

South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP)

SWEEP is five year programme to deliver environmental, economic and social benefits to the South West of the UK (Cornwall, Isles of Scilly, Devon and Somerset).
A research collaboration between the University of Exeter, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the University of Plymouth.


Coastal communities