Evaluation of Coastal Communities Fund (England)

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Last month (28 June) the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing (DLUCH) published a detailed 89-page evaluation of the 10 year, 5 biennial round, £188m (England) Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), the funding for which was drawn from a percentage of Crown Estates annual maritime revenues.

The other Home Nations also participated and benefited from the CCF programme, however, the research conducted and the report produced looks only at the programme within England. The report was produced in response to comment from the House of Lords Select Committee 2019 report in to Regenerating Seaside Towns, which alongside asking for an evaluation of the CCF effectiveness also suggested, somewhat ironically as it now turns out, that coastal communities required more, not less specifically targeted funding.

Despite best efforts, in the intervening 3 years the CCF has quietly become defunct. The Westminster Governments intent appears to be to role it and its aims and objective up into the much wider focused “levelling up” and a small number of other new, but far more broadly targeted funding avenues.

The importance of the report lies in the fact that next month it is due to be presented to DULCH officials running the new funding streams. The “lessons learnt” may therefore help influence views and attitudes towards any future applications made by coastal destinations and more generally the design, management and delivery of the wider funding programmes DULCH are still developing or adjusting.

There is also some general data by English region on recent coastal population figures, levels of funding and allocations previously made etc. all of which colleagues in economic development and tourism may find useful when working up any case for future support. There are also a number of both good and unusually poorer practice case studies included, that will be of general interest to many and, of particular interest, to those destinations where the projects were undertaken, not necessarily with either the local authority or destination management’s involvement.

I have added a copy of the full report to the Britishdestinations.net library accessible via the “Research and statistics – by year” and adjacent “+” menu tabs or go direct to the page at: https://britishdestinations.net/research-and-statistics/

The online Executive summary, not unsurprisingly, contains a useful overview. The full report, worth scanning if not reading in full, contains the nuggets.

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