THE ‘STRONG NATIONAL IDENTITY’ CLUSTER
e.g. Wisbech, Harwich, Pontefract, Skegness
The ‘strong national identity’ cluster describes the group of towns in England and Wales which are most likely to see things through a national lens. Towns within this category have very strong English or Welsh identities (as opposed to British) and above average levels of cultural concern. They are in parts of the county where the Leave vote was at least 55%, and their white British population’s historic makeup is disproportionately Anglo-Saxon rather than Irish.
As the map reveals, this strong cultural identity is particularly prominent in a group of coastal towns running from Suffolk to North Yorkshire. This takes in Great Yarmouth, Skegness, and Scarborough. The attitudes in these areas are likely to emphasise traditional values and patriotism – in some cases alongside overt nationalism and English exceptionalism. In some cases, although not all, a sense of localised decline will run alongside these narratives.
Many of the solutions for towns within this cluster are likely to stem from public events or community initiatives which put forward a shared English or Welsh identity – which is patriotic, inclusive and tolerant.