MANY seaside towns in England have been in recession since the
1980s, and people living in once-popular seaside resorts are
experiencing severe poverty, figures from a new online poverty tool
from the Church Urban Fund (CUF) suggest.
Updated annually, the tool allows people to enter a postcode
into a website or a free app to find out about poverty levels in
that area. This year's figures show that 17 per cent of the most
deprived communities in England are in seaside towns and coastal
But the figures show wide discrepancies between poverty levels
in coastal communities. Popular sea-side towns and villages such as
Rock, in Cornwall, Salcombe Regis, in Devon, and Sandbanks, in
Dorset experience very little poverty; yet, just a few miles away,
people are found to have high levels of need.
In Rock, seven per cent of children are living in poverty; in
Bodmin, 13 miles away, that figure rises to 23 per cent. Female
life-expectancy in Salcombe Regis is above average, at 83 years; in
Axmouth, average female life-expectancy is 76.
The chairman of trustees at the CUF, Canon Paul Hackwood, said:
"This year's figures show that deprivation is particularly
concentrated along England's coastline, and in the North.
"For people who rely on seaside tourism, or England's
traditional coastal industries, it feels like the recession hit in
the 1980s, and never really went away. . . People in the poorest
areas are running debt-counselling services . . . and supporting
their vulnerable neighbours."
The poverty tool highlights the way in which deprivation is
concentrated in northern industrial cities. A map on the CUF
website (above) shows the distribution of the most
deprived parishes in England (red dots), and the least deprived
For more information, visit www.cuf.org.uk/povertyinengland.