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For many years now, coastal towns throughout England and Wales have been suffering from a number of social and economic problems and, despite initiatives promoted by the various regional development agencies (RDAs), little appears to have happened in terms of regeneration. Could the Government’s proposals for a new breed of so-called eco-towns provide any additional momentum for a long-overdue overhaul of the nation’s dilapidated coastal areas?

In March 2007, the Communities and Local Government (CLG) report on coastal towns brought to the fore the pressing issues facing coastal regions and emphasised the urgent need for regeneration. That report identified several common challenges for coastal resorts, namely:

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