Join the infrastructure for Port cities And Coastal Towns (iPACT) network

Join the infrastructure for Port cities And Coastal Towns (iPACT) network
UKCRIC Skills Manager (University of Southampton)
21 October 2022

The infrastructure for Port cities And Coastal Towns (iPACT) network is a new, vibrant, multi-disciplinary community of researchers and research users developing affordable, sustainable, evidence-based, people-centric infrastructure systems solutions for improving social well-being and prosperity to level up coastal communities through resilient, net zero regeneration.

We have c£500,000 available for Pilot Study projects, which will be developed by iPACT members in a series of sandpits in early 2023.

The infrastructure for Port cities And Coastal Towns network – iPACT – aims to identify people-focused, infrastructure-based solutions to the complex problem of improving social well-being and prosperity in coastal communities through resilient and sustainable regeneration. A key emphasis will be on taking advantage of the coastal location.

Research questions will be based around themes:

  • Connectivity with the coast
  • Inclusive infrastructure
  • Maintaining and enhancing resilience
  • Coastal region transport
  • Nature-inspired, human scale engineering

Research will focus on case study sites that exemplify the issues faced by the spectrum of port cities and coastal towns. These are Southampton (the challenges of a working port and lack of public access to the waterfront), Morecambe East (a declining seaside resort with limited local economic opportunities), and North Norfolk (a touristic area of historic communities with an ageing population facing coastal erosion and sea-level rise). 

Stage 1

WeValue consultations

Stage 2

Research sandpits

A series of WeValuecommunity-based consultations has been carried out to elucidate key issues, particularly as felt by under-represented groups and less-heard voices.

The next step is a series of sandpits, one in each case study location, open to the iPACT network of researchers. The aim of these will be to develop collaborative, infrastructure-related projects to explore potential solutions aligned with community needs. We have funding for 5-10 such Pilot Study feasibility projects at £50-100k each.  

Stage 3

Pilot studies

Stage 4


There will then be a period of about 12 months, starting April 2023, during which the pilot studies will be conducted and developed as bases for further funding.

The iPACT Network will grow into a thriving and established, collaborative research and user community, which will develop and see implemented sustainable infrastructure solutions to improve the wellbeing, resilience and sustainability of the UK’s coastal settlements for decades to come.

Sandpit dates

Morecambe, Norfolk & Southampton venues to be confirmed

Morecambe on 12-13 December 2022 

Norfolk on 10-11 January 2023

Southampton March/April 2023

Each Sandpit will run from late morning on Day 1 to mid-afternoon on Day 2 and will commence with a short tour highlighting points of interest or concern at the location.

further details and how to apply for a sandpit at  

Register your interest

If you would like to join the iPACT network, please visit

project email: and join the LinkedIn Group 

Membership of iPACT is open to all researchers and potential users and beneficiaries of the research: from educational establishments, industry and business, local authorities and citizen / residents’ groups. We particularly welcome early career researchers, academics from a wide range of disciplines, and representatives of business/industry, local authorities and the community.