Blackpool & Coastal Climate Change

Blackpool Council are delighted to be key partners in the delivery of the UK’s first international conference on climate change and coastal heritage. The partnership includes World Monuments Fund Britain, ICOMOS UK and Bournemouth University and is part of the work around finding sustainable futures for Blackpool’s three unique seaside piers    

About Sea Change

The aim of the Sea Change Conference is to bring together the international conservation community to understand the growing impact of climate change on the built heritage of coastal communities. It is hoped that this process will help identify any gaps in understanding where new research might be commissioned to further the resilience of coastal communities in protecting vulnerable heritage assets. The conference has four themes centred on cultural identity, resilience, sustainability and best practice which are aimed at bringing out relevant case studies and research for consideration.  Visis the World Monuments Website to obtain a copy of call for papers.

Who will be attending

The conference will be aimed at international participants who are engaged in creating local and national policy, government led and independent heritage bodies, practitioners, specialist interest groups and academics.  The conference will feature a range of speakers from diverse disciplines and professional backgrounds. The conference is being organised on behalf of World Monuments Fund by a consortium including ICOMOS UK, Bournemouth University and World Monuments Fund Britain.

Why Blackpool?

All three of Blackpool’s Piers have been included as one of 25 sites included on the 2018 World Monuments Watch in recognition of their vulnerability to climate change. The increased frequency and violence of storm surges in the Irish Sea have left the oldest (1863) in an increasingly fragile condition and contributed to structural problems with the other two, slightly later piers.

Why Now?

There is a significant body of research which considers the impacts of climate change on coastal geomorphology and marine environments. However, there is not enough research on the impact of climate change, specifically sea-level rise, increased intensity of extreme weather events, and changes in humidity levels, on cultural-heritage assets. Despite a growing awareness of the wider impacts of climate change beyond rising sea levels and coastal erosion there remains a disturbing lack of engagement regarding the impacts of climate change on heritage assets by governments, practitioners, and academics. Whilst some governments have begun to look at the impacts of climate change on cultural heritage over the last ten years, there appears to be no real organised effort to deal with the challenges faced by coastal communities.


To ensure the widest possible range of speakers and delegates the World Monuments Fund will be offering travel bursaries falling into two categories;

Speakers – There will be travel bursaries available but these will be specifically focused on speakers and PhD students from outside the UK. 

Delegates – Consideration will also be given to supporting delegates from low and lower middle income economies (as defined by the World Bank).


More information can be found on the The World Monuments Fund website


To express interest in submitting an abstract please contact Prof. John Darlington

To register your interest in attending the conference please contact or complete register of interest form below.

For any other queries please contact


Register of Interest Application Form

Bursary Application Form

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