The future of seaside towns Contents

Chapter 3: The economy of seaside towns

46.During the decades of the 1950s and 60s when British holidaymakers flocked to the coast, the tourism and hospitality industries were the lifeblood of seaside towns. Seaside tourism, however, was always seasonal in nature and, to a degree, dependent upon good weather. These shortcomings have been further exacerbated by the general decline in visits to the British seaside, increasing competition from other attractions in the domestic visitor economy and an ever-evolving international tourism market. A key decision for seaside towns, therefore, is whether to focus efforts on revitalising the local tourism economy or throw their efforts behind diversification.

47.This chapter will examine the role of tourism in local seaside towns, including an assessment of what benefits seaside towns have felt from national initiatives aiming to promote UK tourism. We highlight some of the barriers that specific areas reported were suppressing efforts to sustain a thriving tourism industry. We also examine the potential contribution of other sectors in seaside towns and the success or otherwise of efforts to diversify local economies beyond tourism. Finally, we examine a key complaint—that the ambition to revive the economies of seaside towns is being undermined by chronic limitations in transport and digital connectivity.

Tourism and the visitor economy

48.VisitBritain and VisitEngland are legally constituted as the British Tourist Authority and are the leading organisation for promoting tourism in the UK. VisitBritain is a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).53 Its activity is focused on “building England’s tourism product, raising Britain’s profile worldwide, increasing the volume and value of tourism exports and developing England and Britain’s visitor economy.”54

49.VisitBritain suggested that where seaside towns were benefiting most directly from its work was through the Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered through VisitEngland, (which is concerned primarily with activities to develop and market English tourism55). The three-year £40 million Discover England Fund was announced by the Government in 2015 and is aimed at “supporting the growth of inbound tourism, ensuring that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry.”56 VisitBritain told us that that the £40 million fund was distributed through grant awards, and stated that:

“Destinations, joining with LEPs and private sector partners, bid for a sum of money to develop a product they think would work internationally. For example, England’s seaside coasts bid to put together an itinerary that works in international markets. The money goes to them and they develop it, and we act as grant-givers in that area.”57

50.The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government also told us that coastal areas have benefited from the Discover England Fund, and included the following as examples of funded projects:

“‘England’s Coast’: National Coastal Tourism Academy, the ‘England’s Coast’ project will promote the coastline using interactive video technology which allows holidaymakers to create their own coastal itineraries. [This] targets German, Dutch and French visitors coming to Britain, and enables them to build personalised itineraries along the North East, South, South West and East coast.

‘England’s Seafood Coast’: has also been in receipt of funding from the Discover England Fund The project aims to frame England as a world-class seafood destination, curating and showcasing what is available to international visitors and tour operators.”58

51.There was, however, a concern expressed over the extent to which coastal communities benefited from national tourism strategies. There was a clear sense that smaller or lesser known areas were being overlooked by national initiatives, and that the focus of those strategies aimed at promoting tourism was very much on areas that already had a thriving visitor economy. The Tourism Management Institute asserted that:

“VisitBritain’s main focus is on developing the overseas markets for the UK, working with the national tourism bodies for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. VisitBritain’s marketing activity has been generally focussed on the capital and those honeypot sites (many of which are urban locations) that are already attracting significant numbers of overseas visitors. Whilst it makes sense to market those destinations that already have a high awareness in the overseas visitors’ minds, this approach is therefore of limited benefit to many rural lesser known destinations that do not feature in their promotions. There is usually a cost for individual destinations to participate in specific overseas promotions led by Visit Britain that are simply unaffordable for many seaside resorts.”59

52.Similarly, Northumberland County Council told us that: “VisitBritain’s focus is on developing overseas markets and activities focus on London and honeypot sites (understandably). It is unlikely that seaside towns will experience much ‘trickle down’ benefit from this activity even though it may increase overall visitor numbers … individual destinations can participate in overseas promotional work led by VisitBritain, but the costs of these opportunities are often prohibitive for small partnerships.” The Council also suggested that there had been a reduction in the activities aimed at promoting domestic tourism:

“England is now the only part of the UK that does not have a stand alone national tourist board. This has meant a reduction of focus on England’s regions, a reduction in resource and a drop in national marketing . . . In the past the ‘thematic’ promotions run by VisitEngland gave seaside towns opportunities to be included in marketing activities that targeted the right markets and had a reasonable chance of translating into increases in their preferred visitors.

The research and support provided to destinations by VisitEngland has also reduced . . . This is being sorely missed by seaside destinations that cannot afford regular expensive research activities.60

53.There was an evident concern communicated that, with national tourism organisations focused on promoting and developing international tourism, there was not enough national level support for stimulating the domestic tourist market. This was particularly pertinent given that the domestic market represents a significant proportion of the overall value of tourism in the UK. VisitBritain told us that tourism was worth £127 billion to the British economy, of which domestic tourism (which seaside towns are particularly reliant on) constituted about £86 billion.61

54.It is vital for the future prosperity of smaller seaside resorts that they have the opportunity to benefit from national tourism campaigns, and from nationally provided research and support, to help to develop their tourism products.

Digital skills

55.Coastal economies, particularly those reliant on tourism, are often constituted of high numbers of SME businesses. A number of areas told us that one way in which smaller tourism businesses could be better supported is through developing the digital skills they need to remain competitive. The Torbay Development Agency told us that although Torbay is well served by digital infrastructure, with good access to superfast broadband in the area, there was “…a need to ensure that digital skills in the community and businesses are supported.” It stated that it was seeking funding from the Coastal Communities Fund “…so that businesses in the bedrock tourism and hospitality sector can become better digital businesses.”62 Similarly South Tyneside Council suggested that there was a “need to help these businesses embrace technology and use the likes of their own website to sell their business more.”63

56.VisitBritain explained the importance of tourism businesses to have the right digital capabilities to meet the expectations of visitors. Patricia Yates told us:

“Particularly for international markets there are some really practical things. Can people book easily online? The world is increasingly digital. Two-thirds of international visitors book online. Are our SMEs equipped to play in an international environment with big distributors? Do they understand how to take online bookings, and do they have the digital skills for that? That is where we are doing a lot of work, particularly with the Discover England fund.”64

We consider the adequacy of digital infrastructure in coastal areas more broadly later on in the chapter.

Public realm

57.We consistently heard that an attractive and well-maintained public realm—including sea-fronts, promenades, cultural and heritage assets, and parks and gardens—is vital in supporting the visitor economy in seaside towns. We were informed that coastal local authorities needed to afford a degree of priority to investment in these assets, but that funding restrictions in recent years had made this increasingly challenging.

58.Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils noted that the Coastal Communities Fund was the main source of bespoke capital investment for projects of this nature, but that it was heavily over-subscribed. They explained that:

“There is a great potential for regeneration in coastal areas, however in order to attract private investment there needs to be a tangible change, the coastal town needs to be seen to be uplifting itself before the private investment comes and this is where public grant funding is needed. There are significant assets on the seafront in public ownership which can create an uplift in the area but are not a viable investment for the private sector, however once these assets have been regenerated the uplift begins.”65

59.During a consultation event held with local authorities at the Local Government Association in October 2018, it was suggested that current local authority funding formulae failed to reflect properly the increased infrastructure and public realm demands placed upon coastal local authorities. The Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, told us that the Government was currently undertaking a review of local authority resources which would look at “relative needs and resources” and seek to “address concerns about the fairness of current funding and funding distribution around the country”.66

60.We consider that the restoration and enhancement of the public realm and of cultural heritage assets through capital investment is of paramount importance in supporting the wider economy in seaside towns, and recommend that the Government takes this into account as part of their ongoing review of local authority resources.

Tourism Sector Deal

61.It was clear that many seaside towns face a range of challenges in trying to maintain or reinvigorate their local visitor economies. We did, however, hear evidence to suggest that the tourism industry in the UK is set to receive focused attention under the Government’s strategic plans to boost productivity. VisitBritain, and other organisations, highlighted the work that was being undertaken to secure a Tourism Sector Deal under the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The Tourism Alliance was positive about this development and its potential impact on coastal areas, and stated that: “one of the most important ways in which the Government can support the regeneration of seaside towns is through taking forward the Tourism Industry Bid under the Industrial Strategy.”67

62.As part of the Industrial Strategy, the Government stated that it planned to extend its Sector Deals (partnerships between the Government and industry on sector-specific issues) to other parts of the economy. Efforts had been ongoing by the tourism and hospitality sectors to secure a Tourism Sector Deal. The priorities for this deal were to: secure a national tourism and hospitality skills campaign, boost productivity by extending tourism all year round; increase inbound visits from more markets by 2030; and create ‘tourism action zones’ which will include improved local transport connections.68

63.In November 2018, the Government announced its intention to proceed with the development of a Tourism Sector Deal. The Minister, Jake Berry MP, told us that “we are currently in negotiations about what should be in the sector deal, and I know that the Secretary of State for Culture has asked the industry to engage very heavily with the sector deal”. The Minister went on to note that, as part of the deal, “there is some consideration of Tourism Action Zones”.69

64.In its initial bid for a Tourism Sector Deal in 2017, VisitBritain made a set of recommendations on how tourism zones might function. It suggested that five tourism zones might be piloted across a five-year period. VisitBritain suggested that tourism zones would have access to a number of measures intended to support local tourism, including:

65.The Tourism Alliance also made a set of suggestions for what the tourism zones could involve, which included:

66.In addition, it is hoped that a Sector Deal would stimulate local delivery structures, such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, to think more strategically about promoting tourism in their areas. Considering the priorities for the deal, Anthony Pickles, Head of Tourism Affairs at VisitBritain, explained that:

“One of the structural issues we identified was local leadership, which comes back to a lot of what we have been talking about this afternoon. When we looked through what the local enterprise partnerships were doing across England, more or less every single one of them identified tourism as a potential growth sector, but none of them had the mechanisms to do anything about it.”

In addition, Patricia Yates, Director of Strategy and Communications at VisitBritain, told us that she hoped the sector deal would help to align and focus the Government’s approach to tourism policy:

“In other countries that do tourism successfully, high-level Cabinet representation can make a difference. The industrial strategy and the tourism sector deal is a real opportunity for government to think about joined-up government and the policy issues that have been identified. It could be like that. It would be good if it could go through as part of a tourism sector deal, as that is already in play.”72

67.The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright MP, has asked the sector to look at the themes of:

68.At the time of publication, negotiations were continuing between the Government and industry on the proposed Tourism Sector Deal. We consider the Tourism Sector Deal to be an important opportunity to help support the regeneration of seaside towns and communities.

69.Coastal communities have told us that boosting the local tourism economy in their areas relies on solving a range of complex and often interconnected issues. For example, a dilapidated public realm, and the social challenges often association with deprivation, will not only deter visitors, but will also limit the chances of securing the investment needed to support and develop tourist activity and encourage businesses such as hotels and restaurants to base their activity in that area. Designated tourism zones could offer a package of support for these areas, and provide the kind of comprehensive approach that seaside towns need to revitalise their local visitor economies.

70.We recommend that, in taking forward the Tourism Sector Deal, the Government ensures that any such Sector Deal gives full account to the important role played by seaside towns in the tourism industry. We recommend that any initial designation of Tourism Action Zones must include seaside towns.

71.We support progress made so far by tourist organisations in outlining what Tourism Action Zones should focus upon, and we recommend that Tourism Action Zones must include: prioritisation of infrastructure provision, both transport and digital; access to support and research to help develop tourism products; and support for local businesses to develop the digital skills they require to reach new markets and remain competitive.

72.Seaside towns need to be able to invest in the buildings and assets that make them unique. We recommend that Tourism Action Zones should include greater freedoms for local authorities to access capital funds for projects aimed at improving the public realm and other cultural and heritage assets.


73.The Tourism Sector Deal negotiations have a strong focus on skills and the promotion of careers in tourism and hospitality. These priorities resonated with evidence we received both on the importance of the hospitality industry to the local economies of seaside towns and concerns raised around the challenges of maintaining a sustainable and skilled hospitality workforce.

74.According to UKHospitality, the hospitality sector employs 2.9 million people and generates £130 billion in economic activity. Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer for UKHospitality, outlined how significant a role the sector played in seaside and coastal communities:

“More than 8 million people live on the coast, in coastal communities. Our recent research suggests that around one in seven of them is employed in hospitality, so it is a major employer in the sector. The sector has contributed around £20 million in GVA to the economies of coastal local communities. Both those figures have grown by about 17% since 2010. We are big employers and big contributors to the local economy, culturally, socially and economically, with an increasing proportion.”74

75.A number of organisations raised concerns about the impact of leaving the European Union on the hospitality workforce. We consistently heard that the visitor economy, across much of England, relied heavily upon EU nationals to meet its staffing needs. Kate Nicholls told us that 24% of the hospitality workforce nationally was comprised of EU nationals.75

76.The British Beer and Pub Association informed us that brewing and pubs employed 24% of their workforce from overseas (17% being from the EU) and stated that “the design of any future immigration system must ensure the necessary staffing levels for the hospitality sector.” Bournemouth Borough Council highlighted a similar concern:

“The hospitality industry is reporting that the availability of hospitality candidates is at an all-time low, with the Brexit announcement reducing the flow of European workers.”76

77.In addition, we heard that in a number of coastal areas, especially on the east coast, unemployment rates were relatively low and labour markets were tight. Lincolnshire County Council explained as follows:

“If current economic activity rates stay the same, the percentage of the economically active workforce who work in East Lindsey will need to increase from 66% to 81% to sustain the local jobs market - this is equivalent to 9,979 more jobs than people available to fill them by 2036.”

78.When asked for a response to these concerns, the Minister, Jake Berry MP, acknowledged that the hospitality sector was reliant on migrant workers and that this should be taken into consideration as part of immigration arrangements following the UK’s departure from the EU: “Generally, as the coastal communities Minister, it is important that I take on and accept the point that we must remain an open economy to enable people to come in and out to work in hospitality and other industries.”77

79.The Minister did, however, suggest that it would be important for the hospitality sector to look for opportunities to attract and develop a ‘homegrown’ workforce:

“There is a responsibility for the UK hospitality industry to look at developing the homegrown talent we have in the UK. We are moving near full employment, but there is an obligation on the UK hospitality industry, through the sector deal, to look at how we can improve and upskill members of UK society.”78

80.The role for the hospitality industry in helping to fill skills shortages with UK nationals, as a way to mitigate any impact of leaving the European Union, but also as an opportunity to boost local skills and employment in seaside communities, was widely echoed. There was, for example, much work described which was being undertaken between the hospitality industry, schools and Further Education (FE) colleges to create career paths for young people. There is also a dedicated workstrand in the Tourism Sector Deal negotiations concerned with “making tourism and hospitality a career for life.” We will explore those opportunities further in the following chapter on Education and Skills.

Tourism VAT

81.In addition to raising concerns around the capacity of its workforce, the hospitality sector and other industries operating within the visitor economy suggested that “uncompetitive”79 rates of taxation for the tourism sector, specifically VAT, dissuaded tourism businesses from investing and placed the UK at a disadvantage compared to other countries.

82.Many countries in the EU offer a discounted rate of VAT to the hospitality sector with the aim of boosting jobs and investment. This, however, is not currently the case in the UK. North Devon Council suggested that a high rate of VAT on tourist activities compared to other European countries was a constraint on growth80. The campaign group, Cut Tourism VAT, asserted that the UK currently ranked 135th of 136 countries in terms of tourism price competitiveness, according to the World Economic Forum. They stated that “the high cost of tourism in the UK is undoubtedly a factor that dissuades foreign visitors from visiting the UK and encourages British citizens to travel abroad.”81 Merlin Entertainments told us that:

“out of 36 European countries, the UK is one of three without a reduced rate of tax on tourist activities. UK hospitality is already at a distinct disadvantage to its European counterparts in attracting tourism, even before Brexit.”82

83.We were made aware that there was a range of areas where a cut to VAT could be usefully applied. These included:

84.In the Autumn 2017 Budget, the Government announced that it would publish a call for evidence which would allow it to consider the impact of VAT and air passenger duty on tourism in Northern Ireland, to report at Budget 2018. Following the consultation, the Government’s response was published as part of the 2018 Budget on 29 October. In this response, the Government stated that “there will be no changes to the VAT or APD regimes in Northern Ireland at this time” and that “the Government will continue to explore ways to support a successful and growing tourism industry.”86

85.The Minister, Jake Berry MP, told us that a recent Government assessment had estimated that a reduction in VAT would cost £10 billion in its first year, and lead to increased borrowing and taxation elsewhere. However, he added that:

“Notwithstanding the contents of that report, it is certainly something the Government should not close their mind to. We need to accept that the tourism industry in our coastal communities employs more people than the motor or aerospace industries . . . we should not close our mind to looking at variations in VAT, particularly when we have left the European Union.”87

86.In a similar vein, we were told on a number of occasions that leaving the European Union could, in theory, allow for the option of pursuing variable UK rates of VAT. Whether this could be applied to different geographies is unclear at this stage, but we consider the potential impact that a reduction in VAT could have for struggling seaside areas to be an important opportunity.

87.We recommend that the Government keeps the issue of tourism VAT under review and considers the introduction of pilot areas where the impact of a reduction of VAT on tourism related activities could be assessed.

88.We recommend that the Government undertakes further research into the potential impact of cutting VAT on tourism-related activities.

The wider economy of coastal towns

89.Tourism is still, in many seaside areas, considered a significant economic opportunity. However, for many areas, the reality is that they can no longer rely solely upon tourism to deliver a buoyant local economy. It became clear to us that simply reviving coastal tourism is no panacea for the socio-economic issues that have become so entrenched in many coastal areas. Seaside towns are increasingly required to look beyond tourism for other solutions to boost their local economies. Blackpool Council alluded to this school of thought, and outlined the difficult choice faced by many coastal authorities:

“… the key issue for most coastal towns where tourism is the dominant economic driver is whether to dilute the emphasis on the rapidly-changing and competitive market of tourism in favour of encouraging diversification. Tourism is generally a low wage, seasonal industry, but the risk of re-allocating funding away from tourism is considerable in such a competitive market.”88

Box 2: Case study—Brighton and Hove

A note by the Chairman, Lord Bassam of Brighton

Keith Waterhouse once famously described Brighton as “a town that always looks as if it is helping police with their inquiries”. The tag stuck until the late 1990s when it became the ‘place to be’ and achieved City status. Without ignoring the challenges the city faces, Brighton and Hove is probably the UK’s most successful seaside community, but it was not always that way, certainly not in the 1970s and early 80s.

So what are the ingredients of success?

It has a diverse local economy based around tourism, healthcare, higher education, ICT, the arts and the service sector. It is also unusual in having a strong retail offer with over 350 small and often quirky independent shops. With 35,000 students at its two universities and 57,000 knowledge economy jobs (41% of the total economy), it has a dynamic employment base. Since 2011, 14,300 jobs have been created and there are 2,700 more businesses than there were in 2012. In 2015, there were 2,100 business start-ups alone.

The key is education. Over 50% of working age adults have a degree (national average is 38%) and its schools are improving in quality. Earnings are higher than the average and the city’s population is rapidly growing, up by 13% over the past decade. There was a net inflow of international migrants, some 3,800 in 2016, and it attracts the second highest number of internal migrants leaving London.

Tourism and hospitality focused on weekend breaks and conferencing attract some 10 million visitors a year and employ 20% of the workforce directly and indirectly. A strong events programme across the city’s venues, coupled with a vibrant arts offering, make it a must-visit location. Substantial local and national investment, both public and private, has underpinned its desirability. The arrival of premiership football has also added to interest in the city.

Innovation and sustained investment have helped cement its status. The key, however, is a diverse economy driven by its knowledge base and flexible workforce. Its reputation as a cultured city with creative businesses helps give the place its buzz and USP. The city’s diversity and the lifestyle appeal of Brighton and Hove enables it to succeed in spite of the difficulties it has with costly housing, poverty and health issues. Brighton and Hove’s welcoming feel (it is a city of sanctuary) adds to its sense of inclusiveness and wellbeing.

Diversifying local economies

90.We heard from several coastal authorities which had deliberately shifted their efforts away from the promotion of tourism and increasing visitor numbers, and who were thinking differently about how to stimulate their local economies.

91.Dorset County Council made a request for “sufficient attention” to be given to the “potential contribution that can be made by other sectors, beyond tourism.” The Council told us that it was now, in partnership with the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), focusing its efforts around growth and job creation on other sectors beyond tourism:

“Attention across Dorset is now being focused on the sectors detailed below in order to increase productivity, skills and wage levels. Across the Dorset LEP area Advance engineering/manufacturing, financial services/insurance, agri-tech and creative industries are important and provide high value jobs. Tourism, whilst a large employer provides (in the main) low pay and seasonal work. There is a drive is to increase the productivity, skills and wage levels across the County and in particular in some of the coastal towns (e.g. Weymouth & Portland) which have the lowest wage levels.”89

Similarly, Scarborough Borough Council told us that:

“In recent years a large part of our focus has been given to developing the manufacturing and construction sectors within the borough. This has been largely successful and Scarborough boasts a relatively well balanced economy for a Seaside Town. More now needs to be done to support the changing retail sector and developing tech sectors if the borough is to remain successful in the future. This will form a large part of our focus in the coming 3 year period until 2021.”90

92.Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), was able to demonstrate how LEPs had supported a coastal area in diversifying its economy. He told us that Coast to Capital LEP had part-funded the creation of a new science and engineering Higher Education facility in Bognor Regis, to help support the advanced manufacturing sector present in West Sussex. Mr Sharrock claimed that the facility had helped to create a “different type of development in a typical seaside town … bringing jobs, students, money and a different economic model to Bognor, which it probably would not have otherwise.”91

93.Whilst visiting Blackpool and the Fylde Coast in September 2018, we heard about the important role played by the two local enterprise zones—Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and Hillhouse Enterprise Zone—in protecting and promoting non-tourism sectors of the local economy. In written evidence, Blackpool Council elaborated:

“SME growth is also crucial to diversification. The primary driver of this for our town will be Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone (EZ), using the financial advantages of Enterprise Zone status to maximise the potential of the Business Park and airport; attracting new and existing growth-oriented companies from a range of manufacturing, service, digital and creative sectors. The EZ came into existence from 1 April 2016 with a 25 year lifespan, providing the opportunity to host around 5,000 new jobs, secure in excess of £2bn of economic impact (GVA) and provide modern and flexible premises for expanding businesses. In the first 18 months of operation, it has safeguarded or created 700 jobs. The government’s Enterprise Zone policy, although not specifically aimed at seaside towns, holds the promise of significant economic growth and diversification for the Fylde Coast area (hosting 3 such zones). The challenge remains to capture significant investment opportunities within EZ fiscal timescales, whilst simultaneously addressing essential infrastructure needs necessary to open up undeveloped sites and improve the efficiency of existing business parks.”92

94.The importance of coastal areas specialising in particular sectors or products in which they had a current advantage, or with which there was a historic association, was made clear to us. In a number of geographical areas, such specialisation related to the energy or marine environment sectors. Great Yarmouth Borough Council explained that:

“The Borough is not solely dependent upon tourism and hosts other key growth sectors, as identified in its Economic Growth Strategy. These are primarily focused on servicing the offshore industry and the Port … The emergence of opportunities around offshore oil and gas infrastructure decommissioning will need to be capitalised upon and these are reflected in recent upgrades to the Port, the third river crossing, the establishment of the successful energy-focused Enterprise Zone and other proposed upgrades to transport connectivity.”93

95.In other places, particular local culinary delicacies were of importance, for example, Whitstable oysters or the Cromer crab. Gordon Oliver, Elected Mayor of Torbay, told us about the success of the regeneration of the Brixham fishing industry, which was supported by EU funds:

“We have the Brixham fish market, which was planned, with a good business case, around nine years ago; £20 million pounds of public money was invested. It protects 3,000 jobs, directly and indirectly. The fish tolls from Brixham now make it the biggest port by value of catch in Britain. The fish tolls income has gone from around £20 million to just over £40 million.”94

Creative industries and culture-led regeneration

96.A number of areas also told us that cultivating the creative industries in their areas has helped to boost local regeneration. Margate was a clear instance of this approach. For example, the opening of the Turner Contemporary in Margate has stimulated the creation of a wider creative sector in the area. Turner Contemporary told us:

“… artists and creative entrepreneurs have moved to the town and established studios and small businesses. With good train links to London and affordable opportunities for live and work spaces, there is now an expanding group of creative individuals living and working in the area”95

Thanet District Council told us that there had been “an 84% growth in creative businesses between 2013 and 2016 following a long-term programme called Margate Arts, Creativity and Heritage that has supported the sector and delivered public sector intervention and investment.”96

Figure 4: The Turner Contemporary has been a central part of Margate’s cultural regeneration

Source: Acabashi, ‘Turner Contemporary Gallery’: [accessed 26 March 2019] (CC-BY-SA-4.0)

97.Several areas informed us that flourishing creative businesses could help to attract visitors and encourage them to stay and engage with the local creative industries. However, the importance of securing local buy-in for creatively-led projects was also emphasised. The Theatres Trust told us that:

“The challenge in a creative regeneration programme is ensuring the residents are not displaced and that they too feel the benefits.”97

Box 3: Seaside entertainment

A note by Lord Grade of Yarmouth

Until cheap flights and package holidays took over from traditional UK seaside holidays in our numerous resorts, one of the key attractions was top class entertainment. Blackpool had at least seven major theatres attracting stars like Morecambe and Wise, Ken Dodd, Cilla Black, Val Doonican and many more, to play twice nightly in lavish revues from Whitsun until the illuminations were switched on in October. Bournemouth, Great Yarmouth, Scarborough, Torquay and Paignton also relied on star name attractions to draw the crowds of summer holiday makers. Those days are now, sadly, long gone. Many functioning theatres however remain, underused and unloved.

Two constants emerge from the end of this boom period, the British public now wants guaranteed sunshine for their annual summer break, but they also still enjoy familiar, family entertainment they can identify with. Our resorts may be impotent in respect of controlling the weather, but providing live entertainment is worth exploring as a means to attract visitors, if only for short stays. The venues remain, and the range of available live attractions can have appeal for all ages, all audiences. These great seaside towns need to find new reasons to draw visitors, even if they no longer come for two weeks of uncertain weather. Outside the summer months, big shows tour our great cities and draw huge audiences, whether it’s a post West End tour of a hit musical like Annie or Evita, or a stage version of Strictly Come Dancing or Britain’s Got Talent.

So many thousands of UK folk travel to London for a few days to see a show, why not an offer in the holiday weeks and weekends to see these shows at one of our legacy resort theatres? Enterprising tourist boards and promoters could try out packaging deals for a few nights at a hotel or guest house and tickets for various local attractions including tickets for a show. If the sun shines, that would be a bonus.

98.Many coastal areas have benefited from grant-funding from arts and heritage bodies, to help to stimulate the local creative industry or for to improve the public realm. The Arts Council England told us that it had supported “49 National Portfolio Organisations in seaside towns at a total value of £64,225,004 in the 2018-22 funding period.”98 Many submissions highlighted projects that had been funded as a result of successful bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund, who told us that, since it was established in 1994, it has “funded £373 million into seaside towns in more than 2,000 projects.”99

99.We were provided with several examples where culture-led regeneration schemes, which have often had the support of funding streams such as Arts Council England or the Heritage Lottery Fund, have successfully boosted local visitor economies, for example in Margate, Folkestone and in St Ives. We also note Yvette Cooper MP’s recent call for the establishment of a new annual title: town of culture. We hope that this will be pursued.100

100.The Heritage Lottery Fund explained that evaluation of the funding provided was predominantly done on a “project-by-project or programme-by-programme basis.”101 Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The Heritage Lottery Fund, stated that: “If we were, for example, investing in town centres through the Townscape Heritage Initiative, we would look at the impact of that programme, but we have not looked at the overall impact of our funding. In our new framework going forward, that is changing, and we will look at the broader impact of the funding, but we do not have that information historically.”102 The Arts Council England confirmed that it would “often measure the impact of the creative idea and how people have responded to it, as well as some of the harder economic and jobs figures.”103

101.The creative industries have a clear role in supporting seaside towns to diversify their economies and enhance their local cultural assets. Capital investment must be made in the context of its impact on the place generally and be monitored and evaluated accordingly. It is vital that evaluation processes for grant funding for heritage and arts projects address issues relating to place-based approaches to regeneration, so as to ensure that public funds are used prudently, and that best practice can be understood and shared.

Box 4: Culture-led regeneration

A note by Baroness Whitaker

We had evidence from the Arts Council England, among others, of the strength of local cultural development in fostering regeneration. St Ives is a well-known example and Folkestone and Margate are more recent successes. But smaller-scale local projects have also proved the worth of the investment, as in Great Yarmouth, where relatively modest funding from the Arts Council England has supplemented local vision and commitment to create a strategy in which culture is the key to regeneration. This does not only increase the visitor footfall, it boosts local morale and the sense of pride in local identity which itself restores the confidence so necessary to regeneration.

Local Authority funding enabled Newhaven to hold its own festival as part of the East Sussex Artwave, with events such as: a guided walk to reveal elements of heritage and history, taking in some remarkable tombstones in the ancient churchyard; a landscape-inspired event with local birdsongs in the church; a competition to chalk children’s ideal Newhaven on the paving stones of the High Street; and a very well-attended ‘festival of belonging’ enabled by a local non-profit-making organization which owned the site. An important element of this kind of community culture development is the combination of participation with events and local causes, perhaps best exemplified by the Christmas dinner for a hundred homeless people and volunteers (and some were both) in the local community and cultural centre, with a bagpiper, a belly dancer, story-telling, a ukulele band singsong and food contributed by local shops, cooked by local experts and served by the High Sheriff and his wife. Funds were also contributed by the police and the local authority as well as residents, to give all guests a present. The role of this kind of collaboration in regeneration is particularly important in relating giving and social solidarity to culture, whether in the form of traditional entertainment or more innovative activity.

As the Arts Council England’s evidence demonstrates, support for activities needs to go hand in hand with physical regeneration, in particular, a combination of sensitive rehabilitation of older buildings with well-designed and environmentally innovatory modern housing, as well as cheaper workspaces to attract creative and entrepreneurial incomers. In the case of Newhaven this will include highly skilled joinery, furniture-manufacture, ceramics and sculpture as well as more community-orientated work such as embroidery and patchwork. It goes without saying that a strong partnership between all the stakeholders and funders is necessary to create this kind of framework. However, it should be said that the thirst for cultural events and a culturally-defined identity has come from within the community. The Arts Council England’s response, through workshops for local artists and creators, has supported the momentum, enrolling other local stakeholders to take part.


102.The role played by ports in supporting and sustaining the coastal economy was drawn to our attention. We were told that around 100,000 people were employed in the UK ports sector, with around 600,000 jobs dependent upon the broader supply chain.104 Associated British Ports told us that ports were a vital employer in coastal communities, with 97% of their direct employees living in the local area.105

103.The ports sector highlighted some of the limitations faced by operators when seeking to diversify or enhance their product. The British Ports Association, and the UK Major Ports Group, noted that current planning restrictions prevented ‘value-added’ activity from taking place on port sites (which are designated for the storage and transit of goods), limiting the potential for operators to attract or develop light industrial businesses on site.106Tim Morris, Chief Executive of the UK Major Ports Group provided a “practical illustration” of this issue, explaining that:

“You have a warehouse. You take rolls of steel off a boat, put them in a warehouse, and then stick it on a train or truck and it goes out. At the moment, there are probably three people employed in that warehouse. You could put a bit of machinery in it, bend that bit of metal into something, and then it would go out as a finished component, which might employ nine people, in the same building. You have not changed anything apart from putting in a machine. At the moment, as a port you cannot do that . . . you cannot change the use of the shed from being storage and transit of good to value addition.”107

104.Dafydd Williams, Humber Head of Communications for Associated British Ports, highlighted how potentially limiting this was, pointing out that: “The great opportunity we present is that most port operators are also big landowners; we have large amounts of land attached to the ports, so there are opportunities to grow . . . ABP alone has 360 hectares of developable land.”108

105.The UK Major Ports Group advocated the creation of ‘Port Enterprise Zones’. We were told that such zones could “combine a number of what might seem relatively small and technical planning items, such as the extension of permitted development rights, with a couple of other things that you might see as enterprise zones . . . designated with appropriate treatment, still with high standards . . . but helping to facilitate investment and the creation of opportunity and prosperity.”109

106.Commercial ports play an important role in supporting the coastal economy. We believe that port operators, such as Associated British Ports, have the potential to help to drive regeneration in seaside towns. We therefore recommend that current planning restrictions which limit the potential for changes of use on port sites are amended to remove the barriers which prevent the productive development of land.

107.For some areas, the key to reversing social and economic decline, and to achieving longer-term economic stability, will inevitably have to involve diversifying their local economies to make them less reliant on tourism. There were some encouraging examples of this approach, where areas have focused on growing other sectors within their local economies. However, the list of these examples was not extensive. Where areas reported success in diversifying local economies, the key factors seemed to be either that the area had received additional support (for example through the LEP or from the designation of Enterprise Zones), or that they had been able to capitalise on products or sectors where they had a natural competitive advantage (such as offshore wind). The reality is, however, that, overwhelmingly, coastal communities lack the resources needed to tap into opportunities outside of tourism, as the New Economic Foundation highlighted:

“These areas have now become unattractive to investment whilst also lacking the resources and the power they need to tap into new opportunities to turn that context around. They now struggle to attract new investment and workforce, they are unable to diversify, to create dynamism, to innovate.”110

108.Some researchers have gone further, arguing that long-term tourism development has contributed to deprivation in seaside towns. Agarwal et al. argued in their report Disadvantage in English seaside resorts: A typology of deprived neighbourhoods, that tourism has, in some coastal communities, been a “poisoned chalice” because the “unskilled, low paid and seasonal nature of employment in the sector has fashioned a major societal issue of poverty and deprivation.”111

109.There is a clear role for LEPs to play in supporting areas with diversifying their local economies and there was some promising evidence that this was happening in some areas. We repeatedly heard, however, that the structures established to promote economic development—principally, but not only, LEPs—did not prioritise neglected coastal communities and did not give proper account to the full range of sectors that could support coastal economic growth (we explore the role of LEPs in more detail in Chapter Six). More supportive infrastructure investment is required to support growth in non-tourism sectors and to help coastal areas to connect better with the inland economy.

110.The New Economics Foundation (NEF) suggested that a UK Coastal Industrial Strategy should be created. Such a strategy, they argued, should be aimed at developing economic sectors in which coastal areas have a comparative advantage, by investing in building the capabilities of people and communities, strengthening local supply chains, and restoring natural resources on which such sectors might depend. NEF argued that the strategy should be supported by a national skills plan to support different sectors of the coastal economy, and a flexible innovation fund “to support innovation in different areas, including fisheries management, technology deployment for marine energy, and coastal adaptation projects”.112

111.Although we have stopped short of recommending a coastal strategy, we were persuaded of the need for greater support for seaside towns to diversify and protect their local economies from changing patterns of tourism and variations caused by seasonality.

112.For some areas, promoting or reinvigorating tourism has been overstated as a solution to local economic challenges. Additional support is needed to recognise, promote and support diversification where a sole reliance on tourism is no longer a viable option.



113.During our visits, we were encouraged by the many examples of successful transformation that we encountered. However, we heard repeatedly that despite the drive and ambition that is clearly present, areas are suffering from poor transport links which are severely hindering the opportunities for bringing about sustainable improvements, either to the visitor economy, or for attracting inward investment. Poor connectivity is central to the problems faced by many coastal areas.

Figure 5: Coastal towns in rural areas, such as Whitby, often suffer from infrequent rail services

Source: mattbuck, ‘Whitby railway station’: [accessed 26 March 2019] (CC BY 2.0)

114.We often heard that seaside towns sit at “the end of the line”, and typically suffer from poor rail connections or services and that road access is usually via single lane carriageways. These sub-optimal connections can limit the potential for investment in economic diversification, and may also act as a constraint on growth in the visitor economy.

115.Several areas highlighted the impact on local visitor economies of the removal of local rail services, following the Beeching cuts in the 1960s, which served to compound issues related to a general decline in domestic tourism. At the same time, the enabling role of transport investment—such as the role played by HS1 in supporting the regeneration of Margate and Folkestone—was emphasised.

116.A number of contributors to our inquiry, including the Coastal Communities Alliance, Dorset County Council, the Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, were critical of the approach taken by the Department for Transport when calculating Cost-Benefit Ratios for transport investment decisions. It was suggested that the approach failed to take proper account of seasonal variations in usage and the ‘180-degree hinterlands’ of coastal settlements.

117.Scarborough Borough Council told us that the Department for Transport’s approach to transport investment decision-making has had an impact on its road infrastructure and highlighted the limitations of the A64:

“The Local Authority, local business and residents have been campaigning for decades to have this road dualled along its length. Unfortunately the assessment criteria used by the DFT for investment in road infrastructure does not properly account for traffic generated through Tourism Industry activity. This is weighted as “leisure travel” and therefore this road has not warranted the Gov investment required.”113

118.A number of submissions also highlighted the importance of bus networks to coastal areas. However, some areas told us that bus services were either insufficient or had been subject to cuts by local authorities. Hornsea and District Civic Society stated that: “Other cut backs have reduced the public transport to the town with the very recent loss of the bus garage and with it a number of service buses connecting to Hull and Beverley the main commuter towns in the area. This has also cut off some local villages from Hornsea…“114

119.Bus Users UK suggested that bus services have an important role to play in regeneration, particularly in terms of access to employment. It stated that:

“As Greener Journeys’ 2014 research showed, there is a significant relationship between accessibility by bus and employment. Our findings highlight particular issues for younger job searchers -23% of unemployed 18-24 year old respondents in this survey (compared to 16% of the other age groups combined) cite the lack of a suitable bus service as a key barrier to finding a job.”115

120.Chichester District Council highlighted that limited bus services had a significant impact on access to employment in the area: “Workers in the district are limited to the jobs they can take as there are no buses before 8am and they don’t run late enough to allow for people working evening shifts . . . It is the network of community buses that often keep rural and coastal areas moving.”116

121.The British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA) noted that problems with routes into seaside towns were likely to persist over the long-term and, therefore, a degree of priority should be given to ensuring that local transport connections, within settlements, operated effectively and had sufficient investment.117 The Coastal Communities Alliance argued that local authorities required a greater number of options for accessing funding to support infrastructure investment, and that borrowing flexibilities and better access to capital markets should form part of this approach.118

122.Bus Users UK highlighted the ‘root and branch’ review of the rail network, which was announced by the Department for Transport in September 2018, as an opportunity to review the connectivity of seaside towns. It suggested that:

“One option would be to use the root and branch review of the rail industry to develop a requirement for all those who bid for a franchise (or whatever model replaces this) to take a holistic view of transport within the region of operation, rather than limiting itself to where rail lines currently exist. In that way, the accessibility of entire journeys, including the “last mile” should be planned in from the outset. This should also link with and extend the scope of the Inclusive Transport Strategy to enable truly accessible end-to-end journeys.”119

123.Inadequate transport connectivity is holding back many coastal communities and hindering the realisation of their economic potential. Emphasis should be accorded to isolated coastal communities which are at ‘the end of the line’.

124.We recommend that the Department for Transport, informed by the advice of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, prioritises improvements to the coastal transport network when it takes decisions on planning and investment. This should be informed by a detailed review of the coastal transport network which includes an assessment of where the greatest socio-economic benefits can be realised through improvements to transport connectivity.

Box 5: Rail connectivity

A note by Lord Shutt of Greetland

The Beeching era cuts often left coastal communities well beyond the ‘end of the line’. There are several plans to redress the damage of the Beeching report of 57 years ago. Some restorations of rail links have occurred, but these have been of little benefit to seaside towns.

One of the most significant rail restorations was the partial re-opening of the Borders line in Scotland. An early Beeching era closure - after much campaigning, the line from Edinburgh to Galashiels and Tweedbank was re-opened in September 2015. It was envisaged that it would have a ridership of 650,000. However, the actual numbers achieved were 1.3 million. Subsequent years have seen further increases to 1.37 million and 1.45 million.

In the book Disconnected! - Broken Links in Britain’s Rail Policy, the authors Chris Austin and Richard Faulkner (Lord Faulkner of Worcester) describe the state of the networks following the Beeching closures and list lines that they believe would be valuable today. Some examples of lines, which would benefit seaside towns in England, are set out below:

Through Routes and link lines capable of restoration:

  • Bristol-Avonmouth via Henbury
  • Exeter-Okehampton-Plymouth
  • Malton-Pickering-Whitby*
  • Spalding-Boston and Frisby-Louth-Grimsby (incl. Mablethorpe)
  • Willingdon chord (Eastbourne)-direct link Brighton-Hastings

Branch Lines or extensions capable of restoration:

  • Barnstaple-Bideford
  • Bodmin Parkway-Bodmin General-Wadebridge*
  • Bristol-Portishead
  • Poulton-Fleetwood
  • Taunton-Minehead*
  • Wareham-Swanage

* Lines that are now open wholly or partially for Heritage rail operation

From the evidence we received, two areas of England—Cornwall and Lincolnshire (both of which we visited)—appear to be at a particular disadvantage from the impact of rail closures. Significant rail enhancement would assist connectivity to these areas for both for residents and tourists.


There is only one railway line connecting Cornwall to the rest of the UK. That is the line from Exeter to Plymouth and Penzance via Dawlish and Newton Abbott. Concerns have been expressed about the resilience of the line since it opened in 1846. The effects of extreme weather are causing significant problems, and part of the tracks have been engulfed by the sea at Dawlish. Over the 2018-19 winter alone, the line was disrupted on ten occasions.120

It is increasingly clear that there should be an alternative route to Plymouth and Cornwall. The route from Exeter via Okehampton to Plymouth is the obvious solution, especially given that there are now plans to operate a service on the route from Exeter to Oakhampton and also from Plymouth to Tavistock. The gap from Tavistock to the Meldon railhead to the west of Okehampton is only 15 miles. Closing that gap would mean that the North Cornwall coast would benefit from nearer rail access and ultimately give towns such as Bude some hope that they could be embraced in the rail network. The coastal town of Bude is further away from a railway station than any other in England.


Lincolnshire certainly suffered more than most areas from the Beeching closures. Skegness is the only coastal town in the county rail connected south of Grimsby and Cleethorpes. Even Skegness only has the line across to Boston, Grantham and the East Midlands. We heard on our visit to Skegness that people really struggle to get to the county town of Lincoln. From Skegness there is an hourly bus service taking 2 hours, and from Mablethorpe the journey (available 5 times a day) also takes 2 hours, with a change of buses in Louth or an hourly service via Skegness taking 3 hours 20 minutes. These lengthy times are all within the one county. As with Cornwall, another link with the coast would give greater resilience to the network and better connectivity to Lincoln and the north.


Digital connectivity

125.Digital connectivity is vital for the future prosperity of coastal areas struggling to create sustainable local economies, particularly those suffering from inadequate transport links. Brighton and Hove City Council told us that it has a “… strong and rapidly growing ICT and Digital sector [which] now supports nearly 1,500 businesses and 6,800 jobs, having grown by over 40% over 5 years.”121

126.There were several initiatives that local areas told us were supporting improved digital connectivity. West Sussex County Council informed us that it had benefited from the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, a pilot scheme to be delivered in partnership with DCMS that will offer incentives to businesses to order ‘gigabit’ capable fibre broadband services.122 During our visit to Cornwall, we heard that the area was well served by digital connectivity as it had benefited from EU funds for improving digital infrastructure. The Bude Coastal Community Team told us that Superfast Broadband Cornwall had effected a positive impact on the local economy, explaining that there were “… many self-employed, home-based graphic design businesses where digital connectivity compensates for the physical remoteness.”123

127.Nevertheless, it was widely argued that digital connectivity in coastal areas was largely insufficient, restricting access to essential services for residents and limiting the attractiveness of these areas to inward investment. A number of areas indicated that they believed opportunities to overcome physical distances and issues of peripherality through improved digital infrastructure were being missed. It was suggested that investment in mobile and broadband infrastructure in coastal communities lagged considerably behind that being made in urban areas and that this was worsening the economic disadvantages already being felt in these communities.

128.North Norfolk District Council outlined the impact that poor digital connectivity was having on its local economy:

“This is of increasing concern to North Norfolk District Council and the local business community as many visitors to the area expect such infrastructure to be available and are frustrated by poor coverage and capacity across much of the District. This is increasingly placing our economy, but particularly tourism businesses and accommodation providers, at a commercial disadvantage, which could have long-term implications for the area in terms of repeat business. This would be over and above the competitive disadvantage that local businesses experience in being constrained in being able to promote themselves to prospective business and customers through poor connectivity limiting scope for self-service and online bookings which require reliable broadband bandwidth and/or mobile coverage in the operation of their businesses. The District Council sees this as a critical issue for coastal communities, which at present isn’t recognised positively by Government.”124

129.Improved digital connectivity presents a significant opportunity to overcome the challenges of peripherality in coastal areas, and would help existing businesses, encourage new businesses, and enable people to work more flexibly from home without the need to commute. Assistance in delivering ultra-fast broadband in seaside towns should be the highest priority for the Government if the regeneration of these areas is to be achieved.

130.We recommend that the Government should promote initiatives to support digital connectivity in coastal communities specifically, and undertake a full programme of engagement with local authorities, LEPs and businesses in remote coastal communities to help to understand better the challenges to improved digital connectivity in coastal areas. The provision of high-quality broadband and mobile connectivity in coastal locations should be considered a priority, and an effective infrastructure investment in areas where the physical transport infrastructure is limited.

Box 6: Connection

A note by Lord Lucas

Seaside towns are often remote, disconnected from large scale economic activity. If we work to connect them better, in a multiplicity of different ways, good consequences should flow.

High quality broadband connections should be our first priority in attracting new economic activity to seaside towns and connecting them with the rest of the country and beyond. Many experiences and services that are on the doorsteps of people living in metropolitan areas seem unfeasibly distant in Eastbourne, where I live.

Education is the key to connecting children, their experience limited to seaside life, with wider possibilities. Left unconnected, education atrophies. Eastbourne, a town of 100,000 people, has lost much of its academic sixth form provision. Just because the local employment opportunities are limited in scope, it should not mean that our children’s education is limited also.

Seaside communities breathe out and in: our children should leave education with the same breadth of ambition as everyone else, and if they leave town to make their fortunes, then others, like me, move in – and, with luck, some of our children move back a decade or two later.

Seasonal education, where people work full-time in tourism for the season, and then take on full-time training - is a route that should be encouraged; and not just in terms of training for local jobs, but to provide connections to wider careers.

People with trouble in their lives often drift to the seaside. They too need connections, back to family and friends, and to all the structures that supported them where they came from, without which they may place strains on seaside communities.

Funding needs connecting too. It is a strength that there are multiple sources of funding available for seaside communities, public and private; they bring different ideas, priorities and expertise. But they need to connect back into the hinterland of the donor and forward into the local placemaking plans, to ensure long-term viability and coherence. Funding streams also need to connect with themselves – evaluating each project, at completion, and a few years’ afterwards, publishing the results, and building our understanding of what works well.

54 Ibid.

55 Ibid.

56 VisitBritain, ‘Discover England Fund Overview’: [accessed 25 March 2019]

57 Q 29 (Ms Patricia Yates, VisitBritain)

58 Written evidence from MHCLG (RST0097)

59 Written evidence from the Tourism Management Institute (RST0062)

60 Written evidence from Northumberland County Council (RST0067)

61 Q 27 (Patricia Yates)

62 Written evidence from Torbay Development Agency (RST0060)

63 Written evidence from South Tyneside Council (RST0033)

64 Q 27 (Patricia Yates)

65 Written evidence from Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils (RST0092)

66 Q 186 (Jake Berry MP)

67 Written evidence from the Tourism Alliance (RST0106)

68 VisitBritain, A sector deal for UK tourism: [accessed 6 February 2019]

69 Q 182 (Jake Berry MP)

70 VisitBritain, Tourism Sector Deal Informing the Long-term Tourism Strategy for Britain (October 2017), pp 28–30: [accessed 25 March 2019]

71 Written evidence from the Tourism Alliance (RST0106)

72 Q 28 (Ms Patricia Yates)

73 Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Government signals intention to secure tourism sector deal (27 November 2018): [accessed 6 February 2019]

74 Q 34 (Kate Nicholls)

75 Q 41 (Kate Nicholls)

76 Written evidence from Bournemouth Borough Council (RST0118)

77 Q 183 (Jake Berry MP)

78 Ibid.

79 Written evidence from the British Association of Leisure Parks Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) (RST0024)

80 Written evidence from North Devon Council (RST0063)

81 Written evidence from Cut Tourism VAT (RST0050)

82 Written evidence from Merlin Entertainments (RST0082)

83 Associated of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), Policy: [accessed 25 March 2019]

84 ALVA, Policy: [accessed 25 March 2019]

85 House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, Tourism (Sixth Report of Session 2014-15, HC 614)

86 HM Treasury, ‘Budget 2019’ (October 2018), p 71: [accessed 25 March 2019]

87 Q 184 (Jake Berry MP)

88 Written evidence from Blackpool Council (RST0081)

89 Written evidence from Dorset County Council (RST0072)

90 Written evidence from Scarborough Borough Council (RST0068)

91 Q 176 (Jonathan Sharrock)

92 Written evidence from Blackpool Council (RST0081)

93 Written evidence from Great Yarmouth Borough Council (RST0064)

94 Q 22 (Gordon Oliver)

95 Written evidence from Turner Contemporary (RST0016)

96 Written evidence from Thanet District Council (RST0046)

97 Written evidence from the Theatres Trust (RST0055)

98 Written evidence from the Arts Council England (RST0051)

99 Q 86 (Ros Kerslake)

100 ‘Town of culture award would boost regeneration, says Yvette Cooper’, The Observer, (29 December 2018):

101 Q 89 (Ros Kerslake)

102 Ibid.

103 Q 89 (Laura Dyer)

104 Q 149 (Mr Tim Morris)

105 Q 149 (Mr Dafydd Williams)

106 Q 156 (Mr Tim Morris)

107 Ibid.

108 Q 156 (Mr Dafydd Williams)

109 Written evidence from the UK Major Ports Group (RST0053)

110 Written evidence from the New Economics Foundation (RST0104)

111 Agarwal et al, ‘Disadvantage in English seaside resorts: A typology of deprived neighbourhoods’, Tourism Management, vol.69, (December 2018), p 1: [accessed 25 March 2019]

112 Written evidence from the New Economics Foundation (RST0104)

113 Written evidence from Scarborough Borough Council (RST0068)

114 Written evidence from Hornsea and District Civic Society (RST0030)

115 Written evidence from Bus Users UK (RST0025)

116 Written evidence from Chichester District Council (RST0044)

117 Written evidence from BACTA (RST0101)

118 Written evidence from the Coastal Communities Alliance (RST0029)

119 Written evidence from Bus Users UK (RST0025)

120 HL Deb, 6 February 2019, col 1520

121 Written evidence from Brighton and Hove City Council (RST0100)

122 Written evidence from West Sussex Council (RST0014)

123 Written evidence from Bude Coastal Communities Team (RST0070)

124 Written evidence from North Norfolk District Council (RST0031)

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