Collaboration is the central theme of the Suffolk Coast Forum Conference this year. Drawing in speakers playing a national part in the future of our coast and estuaries, everything from growing the economy to the importance of the coast to mental health is tackled.
Lord Bassam of Brighton, Chair of the House of the Lords Select Committee who focused on the important issue of regeneration of seaside towns starts the morning programme. As arguably the UK’s greatest asset, investment in regeneration is critical. The importance of this report and the need for greater collaboration will be shared by Lord Bassam.
Catherine Wright, Director of Digital and Skills at the Environment Agency heads the afternoon programme, focusing on the Flood and Coastal Change 2050 strategy. Catherine will set out the long-term climate change challenges, and how the strategy aims to bring people together to make coastal communities more resilient to flooding and coastal change.
Focusing on the UK’s first sand scaping project, Rob Goodliffe, for Coastal Partnership East brings to life a truly collaborative approach with the Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Scheme. Completed this summer, the scheme protects Bacton gas terminal, which supplies a third of the UK’s gas, and the villages of Bacton and Walcott.
Over 70 students from schools and colleges around the county are joining conference delegates to learn about career opportunities in coastal management, creating coastal climate champions for the future.
Cllr David Ritchie, Chair of the Suffolk Coast Forum said:
“We are delighted to welcome all our speakers who bring such wide and varied experience to the conference. We are particularly pleased to welcome so many young people this year.
These young people are the future of our coast. Their generation will tackle the implications of climate change and we see them as championing our future. We are grateful to all of our sponsors who enable this conference to be put on free of charge and of no cost to the public purse”.
The conference audience is wide spread and attracts people from coastal and estuarine communities as well as businesses, students and those who work on the coast. It is free to attend but that is only made possible by the many conference sponsors and supporters. Main conference sponsor for the third year is national contractor Balfour Beatty.
The Suffolk Coast Forum is grateful to all its sponsors and supporters, which include Van Oord, Jacobs, the Water Management Alliance, ENBE, Mott MacDonald and Anglian Water
The conference is being held on Friday 11th October at Wherstead Park Conference Centre, Wherstead, Ipswich from 9.30 am to 4pm, with lunch provided.