Levelling Up: “The perfect storm facing seaside towns warrants dedicated attention”
“Seaside towns, by which we principally mean coastal settlements that emerged as leisure and pleasure resorts in the nineteenth century, have been neglected for too long. They should once again be celebrated as places that can provide attractive environments for residents and visitors alike. What makes these areas distinct is the combination of industrial decline and geography. Their location on the periphery of the country places them on the periphery of the economy, bringing consequential social problems. This combination of challenges warrants dedicated attention and support.”
This is taken from the introduction of The future of seaside towns, a report from the Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities: a fitting start to the unique challenges facing our coastal towns and resorts. The ‘perfect storm’ of challenges and issues that these places face make a compelling case for a ‘Levelling Up’ focus, particularly following the acute impact of the pandemic, coupled with the significant risk of devastation and threat to our infrastructure from climate change.
- The role of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Tourism Recovery Plan in growing a dynamic, sustainable and world-leading tourism sector.
- The Independent Review of Destination Management Organisations by Nick de Bois.
- Department for Transport sustainability strategy, integrated rail plans and Bus Back Better.
- Cultural-led regeneration.
The silos differ according to spatial geography – but whether considering urban, coastal or rural economies the economic development approach is complicated by multiple departments with competing rather than complementary agendas.
Lydia Rusling is Assistant Director for Economic Growth at South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership, and a member of the IED. This article was first published in Levelling Up: pre-White Paper perspectives from economic development professionals.