My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Hilary Benn) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am announcing today the outcome of the coastal change pathfinder competition that I launched in June. The following 15 local authorities have been selected as pathfinders to explore new approaches to planning for, and managing, adaptation to coastal change together with their communities, using the £11 million coastal change fund that I announced in June:
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; and
Waveney District Council.
Between now and spring 2011, these 15 pathfinders will explore a range of approaches to both building capacity and finding practical solutions. These approaches include new ways to engage local communities, helping them to plan for how the coast could change; ways of retaining community vitality by planning for and managing change, for instance through roll-back and buy-to-let schemes; and capital projects that enable continued enjoyment of changing coastal environments e.g. building and maintaining boardwalks and beach infrastructure.
Further information on how pathfinder bids were assessed together with details of funding allocations and the pathfinder projects is available on the Defra website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/flooding/ manage/pathfinder/index.htm.
The pathfinder programme is all about learning and, throughout it, lessons learnt will be shared so that other coastal authorities and organisations can benefit.