Coastal Culture Network

Supporting great arts and culture in coastal communities

Culture and the coast are inextricably linked. Always part of the English seaside offer, in recent years, contemporary arts and culture have helped to reinvigorate many coastal towns following the decline of traditional tourism. The potential of culture to be a key driver for regeneration is now widely acknowledged and nowhere is this more evident than on the coast.

Coastal communities often face particular challenges, which have been recognised by Government through the work of the Coastal Communities Alliance and initiatives like the Coastal Communities Fund and support for Coastal Community Teams.

There are some inspiring examples of how culture has helped to address these challenges. Many have been supported by strategic funders such as Arts Council England, who are keen to see good practice spread and more coastal communities benefit.

These factors have led to establishing a new Coastal Culture Network (CCN) that aims to strengthen the network of cultural provision around the coast and see the benefits of cultural activity reach more communities.

July 2018

The Story So Far

The CCN celebrated its first birthday in February after formally launching in February 2017 at the House of Commons, hosted by Boston & Skegness MP Matt Warman.

At the launch, there were representatives from arts and cultural organisations, coastal community teams, local authorities, central government, tourism bodies, funders and others – reflecting the broad appeal and potential of the network.

The CCN has attracted interest and support from a number of key stakeholders:

The Coastal Communities Alliance (CCA) is a key partner and hosts the network and online forum within its web platform.

Arts Council England (ACE) supported the setting up of the network and funded the first year of activity.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have expressed an interest in exploring how the network can help CCTs interested in culture communicate with each other to share experiences and good practice.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has given a platform to the CCN through its Culture, Tourism & Sport Board and Coastal Special Interest Group.

Other partners who have engaged with the network include:
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
Arts Development UK (AD:UK)
Voluntary Arts UK
Chief Leisure Officers Association (CLOA)
National Trust
Historic England
National Coastal Tourism Academy
XTRAX / Without Walls touring network
Coasters touring network

Networking events

A series of face to face events took place in November 2017 in Ramsgate, Bridgewater and Grimsby.

The ambition with each event was to bring together a wide range of local stakeholders, provide a platform for the discussion of local issues and to support the visibility of the CCN. Those attending included artists, cultural organisations, local authorities, Coastal Community Teams and others working with culture and regeneration.

A wide range of speakers presented some inspirational case studies and regional perspectives, which stimulated lots of discussion.

Two further network events for Autumn and Winter 2018 are in development


Our monthly newsletter now goes out nationally to coastal creative sectors, coastal community teams and local, regional and national stake-holders, with news, funding and project information, conferences and events, case studies and more.  We are happy to receive suggestions for content to

The online forum has 170 signed up members from all around the coast.  It is there to support whatever conversations you’d like to start, so do make use of it.

The map shows the distribution of members.  Once you are signed up, you can find more detail in the Members Directory.

Future Development

The Coastal Culture Network now has a new co-ordinator.  Charlotte Bowen of The Culture House, in Grimsby.

The network is currently exploring activity opportunities including:

  • An ongoing programme of networking events, working with local partners, building on the recent successes. Nationally offered events exploring areas of common interest
  • Skills development and mentoring
  • Work with Coastal Community Teams with a strong interest in culture to raise funds for joint projects

We are constantly looking at the role and development of the CCN and the kinds of activities members and partners would like to see it undertake.  We would welcome any thoughts or suggestions you may have about how the network can support you and your work. Do get in touch.

Also, if you’d like to submit a case study about an existing or planned coastal project, please email details to

Our Priorities

  • Bring together coastal local authorities, cultural organisations, Coastal Community Teams and others with an interest in the role of culture in coastal communities
  • Share good practice, information and opportunities in order to facilitate increased activity
  • Advocate for the role of culture in the regeneration and development of England’s coastal communities with partners and strategic stakeholders

Sign Up

Sign up to join the network and our online forum here.

You can sign up for free and members are able to:

  • Create a profile
  • Search other member profiles to build partnerships
  • Access case studies, information and resources
  • Receive our newsletter
  • Join our online discussion forum

Our Case Studies

Be inspired by great examples of cultural activity in coastal communities.

The Coastal Culture Network has developed out of the Opera For All project, a partnership between Magna Vitae (Project Lead), Garsington Opera and the Coastal Communities Alliance, and funded by Arts Council England.

The network is being coordinated and developed by The Culture House Ltd. To express your interest in being involved, email Charlotte Bowen at

Learn more about the Coastal Culture Network

Join the conversation #CulturalCoast

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