Clean beach rules 'should be strengthened after Brexit to help create jobs'
European Union rules on clean beaches should be strengthened after Brexit as part of a drive to generate 160,000 jobs in Britain's coastal areas, a think tank has said.
The New Economics Foundation also called for coastal areas to be treated as a "unique case" in the Government's industrial strategy and infrastructure plans.
Both recommendations form part of the think tank's "Blue New Deal" 20-point plan to revitalise the UK's coastal areas, which are home to 11 million people.
The proposals are designed to tackle the challenges facing coastal areas, including higher levels of underemployment, economic inequality, educational underachievement, greater vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and declining marine health.
The plan includes 18 other priorities, including greater local control of public goods and services, additional investment, closer partnerships between different areas, authorities and industries, and a commitment to clean, sustainable coastal waters.
The think tank said that the measures could support up to 160,000 additional jobs and generate £7.2 billion more income in coastal areas.
Marc Stears, chief executive of the New Economics Foundation, said: "The Brexit vote this summer was a wake-up call.
"Across the UK there is a clear need for a new economy - one based on an inclusive and outward-looking agenda that will help people really take control of their lives.
"Britain's coastal communities are dotted with innovative new projects but they have not been given the support or attention they deserve.
"Our action plan aims to build on those ideas and create opportunities for fundamental, wide-scale change.
"There has never been a more urgent time for communities across the UK to come together and take control of their shared futures."