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The Blue New Deal aims to deliver stronger economies for UK coastal communities, supporting more and better jobs through a healthier marine environment.

There are already great examples of innovative and sustainable approaches happening around the UK coast, from investment in renewable energy to innovative management of our coastal environment – proof that change is possible. You can learn about some of these stories by visiting our gallery.

However, these examples are the exception and more work is needed for them to become the norm.

The Blue New Deal will bring together a range of economic sectors, organisations and individuals committed to the Blue New Deal vision, to generate ideas and develop an action plan that will help turn this vision into a reality.

Download the Blue New Deal vision


Developing an action plan

Delivering the Blue New Deal vision requires a better approach to development in our coastal areas. This initiative will bring together the relevant sectors active in the UK coast, to identify measures and actions that can help reconcile the creation of employment opportunities with the need for better-integrated and innovative management of the coastal and marine environment.

The action plan to revitalise UK coastal economies and the marine environment will be co-developed with multiple coastal actors in 2015-2016.


Focal policy areas

UK coastal communities rely on the ocean for food, jobs, and recreation. But as environmental and economic pressures grow, natural ecosystems are being pushed to their limit.

In a context of increased economic and environmental challenges, our coast and seas can play an important role in delivering a better future for coastal communities. A healthier marine environment can support more and better jobs, increased resilience to economic and environmental challenges, sustainable sources of food and energy, increased wellbeing and social cohesion and healthier and more sustainable life-styles.

The Blue New Deal has, so far, identified five key policy areas that offer the opportunity to respond to the different socio-economic and environmental challenges that the UK’s coastal communities currently face:

  • Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture: well-managed fisheries, that allow fish stocks to grow to their maximum potential, mean a healthier marine ecosystem that can produce and sustain more fish, more jobs, and contribute more to the economy, both now and into the future.
  • Renewable energy: the UK’s untapped potential for renewable energy comes in large part from the sea. Investing in renewable energy supports energy security and helps us achieve targets towards a low-carbon economy, which is more resilient to the volatility of oil prices and to climate change.
  • Responsible tourism, leisure and recreation: tourism, leisure, and recreation activities on our coast and out at sea should contribute to a better quality of life for local communities, enhance and respect culture and local traditions, contribute to local economic prosperity, as well as minimise damage to the environment.
  • Innovative coastal management: diverse and resilient coastal ecosystems are proven to provide a long-term, cost-effective defence against coastal erosion and flooding, while also maximising the potential for tourism, leisure, and recreation activities.
  • Re-connecting people with nature: growing evidence suggests a healthy natural environment can help deliver cost-effective public goods, such as health and education. The UK offers a fantastic opportunity to get more people active and happy by the seaside, which can also provide a great contribution to local tourism and a number of businesses.


The stories featured on the Blue New Deal website were selected based on their approach, which aims to balance the economic and social needs of coastal communities with those of our marine environment, ensuring their return to prosperity. These stories are user-generated content and, as such, based on external sources, as referenced. The mention, referencing and inclusion of, and/or links to a specific business, organisation or government body does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or favouring by NEF.


Thank you

Thank you to the John Ellerman Foundation and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for their support to this initiative.

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