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The rediscovery of seaside culture in Kent, Uk - Aalborg 2008

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Presentation given at the Regional Studies Association seminar 'Developing Tourist Destinations', November 2008 in Aalborg, Denmark

Presentation given at the Regional Studies Association seminar 'Developing Tourist Destinations', November 2008 in Aalborg, Denmark

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  • 1. The re-discovery of seaside culture in Kent, UK James Kennell University of Greenwich James Kennell [email_address]
  • 2. James Kennell [email_address]
  • 3. (Source: Beatty & Fothergill 2003) James Kennell [email_address]
  • 4. Regeneration need
    • 1/3 of Kent’s population live in coastal areas
    • Kentish coastal areas have suffered from multiple-industry restructuring
    • 2004 IMD figures shows coastal towns to be the most deprived in the region
    • Economic, physical and socio-cultural change identified as priorities by RDA and local state
    James Kennell [email_address]
  • 5.  
  • 6. Kentish resort tourism
    • 32m people travel through Kent between the UK and Europe each year
    • 44m visitors to Kent pa (2005)
    • Costal towns contribute more than 70% of Kent’s £2.5bn tourism income
    • Decline characteristic of UK resorts post-1974
    James Kennell [email_address]
  • 7. The turn to culture
    • Since mid-1990s, cultural development increasingly seen as route to coastal regeneration in South-East England
    • Examples of destinations as diverse as Whitstable and Brighton drive agenda
    • Re-emergence of cultural investment as a driver of seaside development, after historical break from mid-1970s
    James Kennell [email_address]
  • 8. 1996 Turner contemporary project announced for Margate 2002 Creative foundation launched in Folkestone 2004 Horsebridge centre opens in Whitstable 2010 Turner contemporary due to be completed 2008 Folkestone Triennial launch Folkestone creative quarter Gentrification of Whitstable begins 1994 De La Warr Pavillion opens - Bexhill 2005 £38m culture-driven regen plan for Hastings announced DCMS grant to improve cultural heritage offer in Dover Kent Culture-led regeneration scheme announced for Worthing South East
  • 9. Case studies
    • Governance focus – early evidence of fragmented strategies and weak regional networks
    • Ambition of regional product development suggested inter-regional comparisons
    • Exploration of issues for future research
    • Whitstable
    • Folkestone
    • Margate
    James Kennell [email_address]
  • 10.
    • Margate
      • Local state-driven
      • Public-private partnership
    • Folkestone
      • Neo-liberal
      • Local charitable trust / Philanthropy
    • Whitstable
      • Organic gentrification
      • Local state enabling and
      • maximising
    James Kennell [email_address]
  • 11. Governance impacts
    • Folkestone
      • Public sector flight – social impacts under-managed
      • High profile / dynamic
    • Whitstable
      • Piece-meal developments
      • Sustainable cultural change problematic
      • Organic, locally-flavoured regeneration
    • Margate
      • Delays consistent with other large capital projects in the public sector
      • Community perception and engagement high priority
    James Kennell [email_address]
  • 12. Governance impacts
    • Re-creation and management of space
      • Homogenous cultural development and ‘creative retail’ offers
    • Diverse governance cultures do not facilitate co-development
    • Recent macro-economic change will affect each scheme differently
    James Kennell [email_address]
  • 13. The Kent coastal cultural tourism offer Integration with regional coastal cultural developments Integration with regional non-coastal cultural offer Integration with euro-regional cultural offer James Kennell [email_address] Re-badging Diverse Pre-existing offers Intangible heritage Tangible heritage New cultural Regeneration projects Seaside offer ‘ Kent Culture Coast’
  • 14. Product development challenges
    • ‘ Serial reproduction’ (Richards & Wilson 2007) ‘generica’ (Florida 2002)
    • Limited understanding of cultural tourist behaviours
    • Relationship between regeneration and tourism development complex at this scale
    • Poor inter-resort transport vs. excellent extra-regional links
    • Diversity of social outcomes may deepen uneven development
    • Limited exploration of partnership models and cluster development
    James Kennell [email_address]