Blackpool named one of the worst coastal communities for health in the UK


Blackpool has been named among the worst places for health in the country in a new report looking at levels of deprivation in coastal  communities.

Analysis by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank found almost one in 10 people in the resort suffer from bad or very bad health.

The report found coastal communities across the country were are lagging behind inland areas with some of the worst levels of economic and social deprivation.

Comparison of earnings, employment, health and education data in local authority areas identified “pockets of significant deprivation” in seaside towns and a gap between coastal communities and the rest of the country.

The Government has pledged to give £40m to coastal areas in a bid to boost employment and encourage tourism, however researchers warned some communities were being “overlooked” by policymakers preoccupied with more affluent towns.

Scott Corfe, SMF’s chief economist and author of the report, said poor infrastructure was contributing to the growing disparity.

“Many coastal communities are poorly connected to major employment centres in the UK, which compounds the difficulties faced by residents in these areas,” he said. “Not only do they lack local job opportunities, but travelling elsewhere for work is also relatively difficult.”

He added: “The Government needs to do more to track - and address - economic problems in our coastal towns.”

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “Our Coastal Communities Fund has provided £170 million for 278 projects since 2012, bringing in two million extra visitors, creating almost 500 new businesses and securing 6,000 new jobs.”

The spokesman added: “We’ve also announced today another £40 million of Government funding to further boost economic growth and create jobs.”