Forum History

The North West Coastal Forum was formed in May 2000. Originally the Forum was hosted by Government Office for the North West and later by the North West Regional Assembly / 4NW who saw the value of an independent partnership of coastal stakeholders to help with coastal policy development. After the shake up of the regions in 2010 the Forum was hosted by Sefton Council. It currently has a Management Board  with representatives from over 25 coastal stakeholder organisations, an elected Chair, and carries out a wide range of activities. We remain independent and entirely self-funded.

We have a broad and long-sighted vision to promote and deliver integrated coastal zone management for the long term sustainability of the North West’s coast. Summed up by the phrase, ‘Making the most of the North West Coast’ this vision incorporates all three pillars of sustainability: Environment, Economics and Society.

Over the past 18 years the Forum has been involved in and delivered a range of projects relating to all 3 pillars, and a key role for the Forum remains the influencing of policy and strategy which affects our coastline and the communities that live and work there.

Our policy work has included acting as the expert group to help develop regional coastal planning policy for the Regional Spatial Strategy. More recently we have worked closely with Defra, the Marine Management Organisation and other bodies on the development and implementation of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and continue to assist with implementation of other relevant natioanl and EU legislation, including the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Bathing Water Directive. We are currently assisting the Marine Management Organisation with stakeholder engagement for the North West Marine Pla development process.

Our projects are as wide ranging and diverse as the coast itself, from sustainable fisheries, to coastal community demographics, and from developing policy tools to measure coastal sustainability to championing coastal access for all users.

We also provide a regional link in to wider national and international networks, through close involvement with the national Coastal Partnerships Network and the international Irish Sea Maritime Forum.