Debate on the future of seaside towns, House of Lords, 1 July 2019

Coastal towns have suffered from underfunding and underinvestment from central Government. They often have poor transport infrastructure, poor digital connectivity, poor healthcare facilities, an aging population and as a result, disproportionately high levels of deprivation.


Key messages

  • Councils play a central role in ensuring coastal areas are healthy, prosperous and sustainable places. The Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities Committee inquiry into our coastal communities is important and we were delighted that their final report supported the introduction of the Tourism Sector Deal. The Deal will help support the regeneration of seaside towns and communities, particularly in the context of improving skills provision.  
  • Coastal areas have a fundamental role in trade and commerce, and provide an important national resource in terms of food production, aggregates and offshore energy. They also play a significant role in the visitor economy, with day visits to seaside towns contributing to around 17 per cent of UK tourism in 2017.
  • Coastal towns have suffered from underfunding and underinvestment from central Government. They often have poor transport infrastructure, poor digital connectivity, poor healthcare facilities, an aging population and as a result, disproportionately high levels of deprivation. They are also one of the UK’s most fragile and vulnerable environments, and local authorities work hard to ensure they are properly defended from flood risk and coastal erosion.
  • In July 2018, the LGA published ‘The Future of Non-Metropolitan England: moving on the conversation’ which outlined the challenges facing coastal and rural communities and highlighted the key areas where councils can begin to address local issues. This included housing, skills, digital connectivity, health, transport, trade and local economic growth. • Financial pressures on local government are limiting the ability of coastal local authorities to regenerate and support their towns. We are calling on the Government to provide long-term, sustainable funding for our seaside towns in the Spending Review.

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Debate on the future of seaside towns, House of Lords, 1 July 2019