The New Economics Foundation (NEF) will launch its 20-point action plan to revitalise the UK coast in Parliament this afternoon. Called the Blue New Deal, the action plan identifies 20 priorities and outlines measures that could support up to 160,000 additional jobs and create GBP 7.2 billion of additional income in coastal Local Authorities.
Marc Stears, Chief Executive of the Foundation, said: “The Brexit vote this summer was a wake-up call. Across the UK there is a clear need for a new economy – one based on an inclusive and outward-looking agenda that will help people really take control of their lives.”
The Foundation has focused on four areas of the coastal economy: tourism, energy, fisheries, and aquaculture, which can make each other stronger and support innovative new businesses models if they work together. According to NEF, offshore wind platforms could be designed to include improvements in offshore aquaculture, making the most of natural resources and space. Also, innovative marine energy projects such as tidal lagoons offer wider opportunities for coastal regeneration, including a range of tourist attractions.
“Britain’s coastal communities are dotted with innovative new projects but they have not been given the support or attention they deserve. Our action plan aims to build on those ideas and create opportunities for fundamental, wide-scale change,” Stears said. “There has never been a more urgent time for communities across the UK to come together and take control of their shared futures. The New Economics Foundation is the only think tank working with communities in all regions of the UK to help make their voices heard.”
Fernanda Balata, Blue New Deal Lead at the Foundation, said: “This action plan marks the beginning of a major effort to breathe new life into long-neglected public infrastructure and get people excited about what our coast – a valuable shared resource – has to offer.”
“Our launch today showcases just a handful of the hugely innovative projects that form the building blocks for a coastal industrial revolution. It is only through speaking with and learning from communities in these areas that we will make it a reality.”