Coastal Powerhouse Manifesto

Coastal communities are set to lose at least 49 per cent of their young people, with the majority of 18-24 year olds already planning on moving away.

Jobs were cited as the overwhelming reason with 70% saying they would be more likely to stay if the right career opportunities were made available. 

Maritime UK and the Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group (LGA Coastal SIG) have urged government to come up with a clear strategy to stem the brain drain, through the launch of a new Coastal Powerhouse manifesto.

The document sets out proposals to boost connectivity to the rest of the country, extend freeports benefits to all coastal areas, install a shore power network across the coast to charge tomorrow’s Teslas of the seas and develop new skills in coastal communities, including digital skills.

The Coastal Powerhouse manifesto calls on government to ensure the coast is a central part of infrastructure planning, to attract inward investment through reduced congestion. Rail freight and green coastal shipping are identified as significant growth areas which could decarbonize the supply chain and increase connectivity with the rest of the country.

The policy document also urges investment in shore power, a proven technology enabling vessels to turn off their engines at berth in ports and providing the infrastructure to charge tomorrow’s electric vessels. While the vast majority of the world’s major economies have multiple, the UK does not yet have one in operation.

The manifesto underscores the opportunity of offshore energy growth, with coastal areas uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the UK’s net zero transition, from nearby yards building green servicing ships for these windfarms and those across the globe, and leading the way on future industries, such as floating wind turbines.

To date, coastal regeneration funding has overwhelmingly focused on heritage, recreational and arts projects, rather than the action required to generate higher wages and higher skill jobs.

Most recently, only 4 of the 44 projects announced in the latest round of the Coastal Revival Fund in 2018-19 could be described as ‘business’.

Whereas industries like maritime, which has a long heritage across Britain’s coast, is still urging government for £1billion co-investment to kickstart a decarbonisation programme, similar to the support other major economies’ governments are providing to their domestic industries.

It’s been found that £1billion co-investment would create 73,000 maritime jobs. Industry roles pay £9,000 more than the national average per year, and for every £1 generated by the sector, a total £2.71 is generated across the UK economy.