Entrepreneurs called upon to revitalise 'sleepy communities'

7th October 2015

The Centre for Entrepreneurs is calling on British entrepreneurs to “inject some much-needed thinking into sleepy communities” across the UK; most notably some of the nation’s seaside resorts.

A new report published by the think-tank highlights many issues that blight seaside towns, such as physical isolation from the rest of the country, educational deficiencies, growing levels of deprivation and low-wage, low-skilled seasonal work.

Luke Johnson, chair of the Centre for Entrepreneurs, believes the invention and drive of entrepreneurs that first built seaside towns is needed again to breathe new life into the communities in need.

“A combined effort is needed – one that brings together entrepreneurs, national government, local authorities and residents in identifying issues and opportunities, developing solutions, and taking action,” said Johnson.

“If seaside towns can generate such clusters they can reverse the brain-drain and transform their self-image, helping attract further investment,” the report added.

The report recommends that by creating publicly accessible asset inventories – led by local authorities - entrepreneurs can quickly find out what exists and who owns what.

In a bid to attract educated, high-skilled entrepreneurs and professionals, the report suggests that providing a unique proposition – whether it’s food, culture or even literary sophistication – is of paramount importance.

The report drew attention to several entrepreneurial success stories in seaside towns, most notably down in Dorset.
“For some time, Bournemouth’s digerati and supporting cast had realised that something special was taking place,” the report said.

“This close-knit group knew that the town was spawning top-quality companies – mainly agencies specialising in providing a range of digital services – and that these companies were growing in confidence and significance.”

Within the report, digital advisor, Matt Desmier found as many as 454 actively trading creative and digital agencies in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole alone; citing this as an innovative means of retaining and attracting top talent back to Britain’s coastal communities.



Image: Martin Pettitt

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