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The Business Magazine July 2024
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University of Kent joins £2.9m project to explore coastal community challenges

The Business Magazine article image for: University of Kent joins £2.9m project to explore coastal community challenges
Broadstairs, Kent
25 June 2024
Broadstairs, Kent

University of Kent academics are getting involved in a multimillion-pound project to explore the complex challenges facing the UK’s coastal areas and develop resilience within them.

They’ll be joined by colleagues from the Eastern Arc academic research consortium, which comprises the universities of Essex, Sussex, East Anglia and Kent.

The £2.9 million ARISE project – Advancing Resilience and Innovation for a Sustainable Environment – is one of four to receive a total of £14.8 million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Professor Catherine Richardson and Professor Jim Ang from the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries at Kent will work with project leads at the University of Essex, and a range of other key stakeholders – including the Centre of Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.

Phil Ward, director of Eastern Arc, said: “Eastern Arc brings together our universities to work for the benefit of our region and the nation as a whole.

“Collaborating with other stakeholders within our region – local authorities, businesses, charities and other universities – offers a great opportunity to do even more, and ARISE is a great example of this.”

ARISE will focus on the east – the Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex coasts, which include communities from England’s highest and lowest levels of deprivation.

This coastal region has more inequalities in health, wellbeing, life expectancy, earnings and education compared to nearby inland communities.

Professors Richardson and Ang will lead on creative engagement with these communities, which will be used to inform a practical toolkit for local councils and other organisations to apply in addressing coastal challenges.

The aim of the project is to benefit policymakers, local communities, public managers, voluntary groups, researchers, landowners, businesses and residents along the entire UK coast.

Professor Catherine Richardson, director of the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries at Kent, said: “We’re excited to get started on this large and important project, bringing our expertise in finding new creative ways to work with our coastal communities, including immersive technologies, to think through sustainable futures with them.”


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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