“Coastal communities amongst most deprived in UK, says think-tank”

“Britain’s coastal communities rank among the worst performers for earnings, employment, health, education and a range of other economic and social indicators.

That is the message from the Living on the Edge report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank, which found economic output per capita was 23% lower in coastal communities compared with inland local authority areas.

The research took ‘coastal’ to mean anywhere adjacent to the sea, not just traditional holiday resorts.

It said five of the 10 local authorities in Great Britain with the lowest average pay were on the coast: Torbay, North Devon, Gwynedd, Hastings and Torridge.

Five of the 10 areas with the highest unemployment rate were also coastal: Hartlepool, North Ayrshire, Torridge, Hastings, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Half the 20 council areas with the highest proportions of the population with bad or very bad health were coastal.

SMF chief economist Scott Corfe said: “Many coastal communities are poorly connected to major employment centres, which compounds the difficulties faced by residents in these areas.

“Not only do they lack local job opportunities, but travelling elsewhere for work is also relatively difficult.”

He said the government needed a clear definition of a coastal community and should make more effort to address their economic problems.

Policymakers overlooked some poor performers because they were in the south east and so formed islands of deprivation in generally affluent areas, Corfe added.

Issues in coastal communities rose to prominence with a report from the communities and local government select committee in 2007, when MPs took the unusual step of objecting that the government’s response had been complacent and pressed for further action.

The committee said coastal communities tended to be at an economic disadvantage as the sea reduced the size of their economic hinterland compared with inland towns.

They were also likely to have high proportions of retired people, an exodus of younger people and to be geographically remote from population centres.

Following this report, the Labour government created the Sea Change Fund to regenerate coastal towns, which was succeeded under the Coalition by the Coastal Communities Fund.

Coastal communities minister Jake Berry said yesterday there will be a fifth round of funding for this in 2019-21, to provide at least £40m of assistance.”


One thought on ““Coastal communities amongst most deprived in UK, says think-tank”

  1. Yes indeed. £40m over 3 years (i.e. £13m a year).

    Assuming that there are (say) 40 local authorities which are “coastal communities” and each has the same population as East Devon (c. 100,000) that is about £4m people. So on average the £40m will provide about £3 per year per person which will certainly go a long long way to reducing poverty and bringing their living standards up to the current average, won’t it?

    (Typical Tory flim-flam – make swingeing cuts of several £bn per year every year for seven years, then announce “extra” funding of several £10m and make it sound better than it is by downplaying that this is split over several years, hoping that the population will forget about the cuts and remember the give-away instead. Sadly, the voting habits of the majority of the population suggest that this is a successful strategy – otherwise why else would so many people vote back in a political party that is screwing them in every possible way?)


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