Eastern Arc wins new £2.9m project

11 June 2024

Eastern Arc has secured a new multi-million pound grant to explore the complex challenges facing our diverse UK coastal areas. Led by Prof Gina Yannitell Reinhardt at the University of Essex, it also involves a range of other key stakeholders including the universities of Aberystwyth, Birkbeck, Manchester, Suffolk, as well as the Centre of Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.

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

ARISE will focus on the Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent coasts, which include communities from England’s highest and lowest levels of deprivation. This coastal region also has more inequalities in health, wellbeing, life expectancy, earnings and education compared to nearby inland communities.

“Our coasts provide food, jobs, coastal protection, cultural enrichment and benefits to health and wellbeing,” said Prof Yannitell Reinhardt.“However, our UK coastal areas are facing increasingly complex, interrelated challenges from factors like climate change, population and infrastructure pressures and the cost-of-living crisis.

“We want this ARISE Toolkit to be a legacy, offering ways to confront and mitigate these pressures to help strengthen coastal community resilience and our collective ability to thrive after disruption and change.”

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.

Director of Eastern Arc, Phil Ward, 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.

“This is such an important project, and is central to one of our key priorities going forward, as set out in our new strategy: ‘to work together to build a strong, resilient future for our coast.’ Gina has brought together an amazing team, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of the fantastic work they have planned.”

You can follow the work of ARISE on X (@ARISEResilience), LinkedIn and Facebook.

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