UK Government

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs: £11 million of grants awarded to help communities deal with their changing coastline

Press Release   •   Dec 02, 2009 11:15 GMT

280/09  Support for coastal communities in adapting to coastal change was announced today when the government awarded £11 million in grants to fifteen local authorities who had come up with the best and most innovative ideas for dealing with and adapting to coastal change.

The winning local authorities come from all around the English coast, from Sefton in the North West, to East Sussex in the South East. Each has come up with their own “pathfinder” scheme to work with communities and find ways of dealing with a changing coastline.  Projects range from creating new sand dunes and building boardwalks to, where properties are at risk, developing of ‘buy to let’ schemes and the purchase of land to rebuild properties at risk.

Erosion already affects 30% of the English coastline and other areas are at risk of flooding – risks that can only be exacerbated by the threat of climate change.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, said:

“Our coastline has always been shaped by the sea and as climate change takes hold the risk of coastal change will only increase. That is why we need to help our coastal communities to adapt to this change. No one can know or understand what these communities need better than the communities themselves and with this funding they will be able to work together, to better prepare their people and businesses by adapting to local change.”

In June 2009 local authorities living with the threat of coastal change were invited to enter the Coastal Change Pathfinder competition and come up with their own schemes to deal with the problems it caused in their area. The grants will be used by local authorities to explore and test their own ideas of adaptation thus making each community more resilient and ready to face changes.

Notes to Editors

1. Details of all the coastal change pathfinders can be found at

2. A total of 20 bids were received, all containing a range of interesting and innovative ideas. Bids were assessed by a panel including representatives from Defra, the Environment Agency, Communities and Local Government, the Commission for Rural Communities, the Community Development Foundation and the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency.

3. The pathfinder programme will run from November 2009 until Spring 2011. It is also a learning programme and lessons learned from the pathfinder programme will be shared as an educational tool.

4. The fifteen local authorities who have been selected are: Chichester District Council, Dorset County Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, East Sussex County Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Hastings Borough Council, Lincolnshire County Council, North Norfolk District Council, Scarborough Borough Council, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, Somerset County Council, South Hams District Council, Tendring District Council, Waveney District Council.


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