New resilient coastal communities and seas network announced

The University of Liverpool is part of a new £2 million national network to generate knowledge, action and resilience for UK coastal communities and seas.

The COAST-R Network is part funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and DEFRA under their Resilient Coastal Communities and Seas programme and is part of a £14.8m investment in place-based research projects aiming to enhance resilience, wellbeing and sustainability across the UK.

The COAST-R Network involves academic teams from the Universities of Hull, Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds, Southampton and Aberystwyth University, as well as coastal and marine partners and communities across all four UK nations.

Together, they will work to generate and share learning across sectors and disciplines to build UK coastal and marine resilience.  Professor Neil Macdonald, from the Department of Geography and Planning is the project lead at the University of Liverpool alongside colleagues Professor Andrew Plater and Dr Charlotte Lyddon.

He said: “UK coasts face many of our most significant resilience challenges, with coastal and estuarine communities living with social and health inequalities, rising sea levels, and coastal erosion, to name but a few challenges. Yet conventional models of coastal management sometimes fail to capture and understand local needs, understanding and experiences of coastal change.

“COAST-R will work collaboratively across sectors and build skills, knowledge and collaboration to ensure those most impacted by climate change have a key voice in the decision-making process around coastal resilience.”

The COAST-R Network has five key objectives:

  • Share learnings and best practice across sectors and disciplines, to build UK coastal and marine resilience;
  • Co-design a range of events, training and mentoring to improve partnership working and nurture the next generation of resilience champions;
  • Work in partnership with coastal communities and other partners to identify and response to priority needs using our Flexible Fund;
  • Collate key insights, case studies and resources through our website and other outputs;
  • Build ongoing practitioner and community-led evaluation on the activities of the Network and funded projects, to shape future learning, legacy and funding opportunities.

The Network is part of the UKRI Strategy, “Transforming Tomorrow Together”, which will see a £24.3m boost to the UK’s environmental resilience through place-based research projects. Four large projects funded under UKRI’s Resilient Coastal Communities and Seas Programme will shortly be announced, as well as a number of projects researching place-based approaches to an environmentally sustainable future.

The Network is jointly funded by UKRI, through Creating Opportunities, Improving Outcomes, alongside the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), National Environment Research Council (NERC) and the UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Creating Opportunities, Improving Outcomes is one of UKRI’s strategic themes. Their aim is to improve outcomes for people and places across the UK by identifying solutions that promote economic and social prosperity.