There has been very recent recognition of the challenges facing UK coastal communities evident by The House of Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Resorts (2017-19) and the formation of an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coastal Communities (2019).
The UK government has declared a commitment, through its Industrial Strategy White Paper (HM Government, 2017) and ‘Build Back Better’ (2021), to address inequalities and to level up across the whole of the UK, ensuring that no community is left behind, particularly as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies promise wholesale changes to the way local economic growth is supported, in order to regenerate town centres and high streets, improve local transport links and invest in local culture, while giving communities a stronger voice to take over cherished local assets that might otherwise be lost.
This will involve the UK government working more directly with local partners and communities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who are best placed to understand the needs of their local areas and more closely aligned to the local economic geographies to deliver quickly on the ground. However, given there has been limited investigation of the problems experienced in widely varying coastal settlements across different parts of the country, this webinar will consider the extent to which ‘Build back better’ and the ‘levelling up’ agendas can indeed address the challenges facing UK coastal communities.