A growing evidence base of challenges
The findings from this HOPE not hate Charitable Trust report contributes to a growing evidence base of the particular challenges facing our coastal communities.
Many of these challenges have been recognised and documented over the years, in academic reports, policy papers and media stories. Yet, coastal communities today still lack the scale of power and resources needed to address their complex and many unique challenges.
At the New Economics Foundation, we have been researching and engaging with coastal challenges since 2014. One of the great difficulties to achieve change on the coast is that our governance and economic systems are not fit to address structural issues. And policy makers across the political spectrum have not made this a political priority.
Given the complexity of coastal challenges, innovative analysis such as this new contribution from HOPE not hate are important to highlight the need for a more concerted and coordinated policy effort to support coastal communities. The particular distinction between cultural and economic dimensions of Britain’s coastal towns is of particular relevance in identifying solutions. NEF’s Blue New Deal action plan launched in 2016 – Turning Back to the Sea – had already found the incredible potential for economic renewal in our coast by building on the existing cultural heritage, natural and human richness, of fishing traditions and the wellbeing potential of our coast and ocean.
As we embark on a national journey towards a green recovery and societal transformation post-covid-19, the unique voices of the coast, and the challenges they face now, must be firmly in the public and political agendas.
The decisions we make now will not just impact on the lives and livelihoods of people during this crisis – they will shape the future values, goals and structure of our economy and society.
Fernanda Balata is the Senior Programme Manager at the New Economics Foundation, and founder and lead on NEF’s coastal economies programme