Regeneration, place-based work

Includes resources from Fair Share Trust and Community Development Foundation...

To help with understanding more about the social need in an area, data sets are available from the Office for National Statistics. These can be searched by local authority, ward or postcode.

Community Development Foundation’s website, has publications and guidance on all aspects of community development, community cohesion and community engagement.

Useful documents from Fair Share Trust are based on local development work by funders, especially community foundations, through the new Learning Document. Papers cover needs analysis and mapping, use short case studies to highlight methods and learning from around the Fair Share network.
Specific papers on:


Briefing Paper 113: Patterns of social capital, voluntary activity and area deprivation in England
Andrew McCulloch, John Mohan, and Peter Smith (October 2013)
Researchers have studied data from the 2005 and 2007 Citizenship Surveys to map the broad differences in levels of voluntary and social capital between 90 different types of place in England characterised by their regional location and level of deprivation. The briefing paper considers whether voluntarism can produce improved outcomes for individuals and communities in their paper on ‘Patterns of social capital, voluntary activity and area deprivation in England’.

Beneath the radar
Scotland Funders’ Forum, 2012
Seven stories paying tribute to small, local groups across Scotland, often run on a shoestring budget and with limited staffing and resources. The stories emphasise the contribution made by such groups to community well-being, providing vital services to vulnerable people. The publication raises concern about the increased struggle they face to survive in the current economic climate.

Building Better Communities Through Global Learning
The Rank Foundation and Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (June 2016)

This summary highlights the key findings of an international, experiential research programme that explored ways to build strong communities here in the UK. The research was conducted as part of a three-year partnership between The Rank Foundation and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Capable communities: the case for community empowerment
IPPR and PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2010
The case for public services reform for greater citizen involvement in and responsibility for delivering services.

The case for community anchor organisations
Third Sector Research Centre, 2011
Eileen Conn is a community activist, in south London, who also worked for many years in Government, and has developed theoretical and practical work on social dynamics and complex living systems. She has published her arguments in support of the value of small groups and the services which nurture them and the power imbalance between policymakers and community groups. A short video interview and commentary here

Catalysts for community action and investment
Community Development Foundation
New Economics Foundation’s analysis of social return on investment (SROI) in community development activity. This report tracks the cost-benefit of four local authority community development teams, using SROI methodology to show how such investment today saves future expenditure on palliative intervention, from social services to policing costs. 

City leaders must ensure the proceeds of growth are shared by everyone living in their regions
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (May 2016)
A blog examining how well English regions are doing on inclusive growth.

Common weaknesses in local authorities judged inadequate under the single inspection framework
Ofsted (November 2015)
This is a summary of common weaknesses in local authorities that were judged inadequate in inspections, between January and May 2015, under the single inspection framework. It aims to help local authorities identify whether they have these or similar weaknesses and improve practice.

Creating stronger and more inclusive communities
New Economics Foundation, 2011
This report is about innovation that unlocks communities’ strengths and shows how people with support needs can also be assets to their communities. It outlines seven principles for empowerment and inclusion for an age of austerity. 

Developing a rich and vibrant JSNA
Local Government Improvement and Development
An overview of work that took place as part of the asset based pilot process within the Wakefield district. The process and key learning points offer insights into developing joint strategic needs assessments that reflect community assets and strengths as well as their needs and “deficits”.

Forging a Good Local Society
Centre for Local Economic Strategies, July 2016
In this publication, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies argues that the growing devolution of powers and resources to local areas should act as a catalyst to unleash deeper levels of local empathy and innovative power – making a genuine counter attack on poverty. While national agents of change remain important, the future also has to be about rekindling a new local anti-poverty deal. To do that, we must face up to the reality that current policy is alarmingly detached from the plight of the poorest. It’s lost its empathy.

Glass Half Full
LG Improvement and Development, 2010
The case for an asset-based approach to reducing inequalities in community health and wellbeing. It focuses on public health and the role of local authorities, drawing on some examples from London (e.g. LB Camden), offering health practitioners a possible response to the challenges of empowering communities. Asset mapping, asset-based community development and open space technology are described in some detail. 

Growing and sustaining self help
Tom Archer and Dave Vanderhoven, Community Development Foundation, 2010
This report is the culmination of CDF’s Self Help project, based on work with five community groups, and showing solutions to the key challenges facing self help. It argues that central government and local public bodies can create the conditions for self help to grow and that they should support and resource it, especially if “the converging ambitions of localism and the Big Society” are to be met. 

How Place-Based is the new Industrial Strategy? NLGN (January 2017)

So how place-based is the Industrial Strategy? Devolutionaries are certainly used to substantive mentions of the local role coming towards the end of the priority list if and where they feature in other Whitehall departmental plans.

Download here

Little Big Societies: micro-mapping of organisations operating below the radar
Andri Soteri-Proctor, Third Sector Research Centre Working and Briefing Paper 71, 2011
Study of two very small areas in depth, a reminder of how many community organisations are very small and informal. The researchers found 58 community groups operating in and around 11 streets – groups not on regulators’ lists and missing from more standard VCS analysis, yet delivering diverse services for specific interests and target communities.

Local commissioning, local solutions: devolving offender management
Reform Research Trust (May 2016)
The proposals in this report set out an ambitious blueprint for reform that sees the government’s current programme as the first step towards a radically different model of offender management.

Local public service reform
National Audit Office, September 2016
In early 2016 the National Audit Office (NAO) undertook research to find out:

·         how local public service reform is being pursued in eight places in England;

·         what the enablers and barriers are; and

·         how the government is supporting reform at a local level.

This document summarises the findings of their work and identifies sources of help that may be useful to local areas and government departments supporting local public service reform.

Love thy neighbourhood: People and place in social reform
Ed Cox with Mark Harrison, Bill Davies, Anna Turley (November 2013)
A blueprint for rethinking and revitalising neighbourhoods policy, this report draws together a wealth of research into how and why neighbourhoods are changing in Britain. It explores the pressures that they face, the resources and capacities they have within them, and how both people and policies can make them better places to live and work.

Making the case for community development
Agnes Gautier, Thomas Neumark and Meghan Rainsberry, Community Development Foundation, 2010
Guidance to help community groups and organisations communicate to local government the vital importance of community development work in achieving public sector objectives.

Mapping Big Society
The Third Sector Research Centre has published a report demonstrating that there is a ‘civic core’ of people who contribute a disproportionate amount of time and money to their communities who are likely to be middle-aged, well-educated and live in prosperous areas, and asks what this means for ‘Big Society’.

Moving from the margins: The challenges of building integrated local services
Turning Point and Collaborate, September 2016

Moving from the margins is a discussion paper produced by Collaborate and Turning Point that presents seven key insights for building integrated public services.

The overriding message for Moving from the Margins: The challenges of building integrated local services is simple: local integrated services should be at the heart of strategies for social renewal and public service reform. The fundamental change that this approach implies – shifting power away from ‘producers’ and towards communities – is incredibly hard to make happen. But there are people and places that have started to do things differently and their approaches can be learned from and built on.

People, places and health agencies: Lessons from Big Local residents, IVAR (December 2016)

Local Trust commissioned this research because health and wellbeing had been identified as a priority in many Big Local areas; and because the areas that were already working with health agencies said that this relationship was both rewarding and challenging. The research addressed two questions:

• Do Big Local areas and health agencies have common goals?

• How can they develop workable relationships?

Download here

People shaped Localism
RSA (February 2016)
This report says approaches to empowering local communities put in place by the coalition government (and continuing under the current administration) are inadequate. It also says that devolution is in danger of suppressing localism rather than allowing it to flourish.

Its recommendations include:

-Significantly strengthening Community Right to Bid, drawing on the Scottish government’s Community Right to Buy.

-Reviewing the working of Community Right to Challenge, with a view to removing unnecessary exceptions.

Public service challenge: implementing the lessons from Total Place
Lessons learned from a number of pilot schemes across the country, showing how Total Place improved services and reduced the costs of providing public services. 

A Tale of Two Southwarks, Southwark Giving (January 2017)

Southwark has a rich history and has had a modern makeover. Once the Thameside ‘larder of London’ and home to brothels, immigrant workers and theatre people, Southwark is now home to the glittering riverside with more London redevelopment planned. Southwark is, however, a borough of contrasts with high levels of inequality leading to the conclusion that there are two Southwarks – one where people have better life chances and one when they have worse.

Download here

Turnaround Towns- Carnegie UK, November 2016

As one of the largest policy and practice institutions in the UK to be town-based, the Carnegie UK Trust is interested in the innovation, regeneration and sustainability of towns.

The Turnaround Towns project is examining international examples of towns that have successfully gone through a transformation process, and considering what learning can be drawn for towns in the UK and Ireland.

Download here

Valuing housing and green spaces: Understanding local amenities, the built environment and house prices in London
GLAEconomics, Working Paper 42, 2010
Updates previous analysis on valuing green space in London. It looks at the factors involved in differential house prices and how far nearness to green spaces influences them. 

What works in neighbourhood-level regeneration?
Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University for Communities and Local Government, 2010
A report on key stakeholders in eight New Deal for Communities areas which saw positive change from 2002-8 and the experience of regeneration practitioners working in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country.

Why do neighbourhoods stay poor?
Centre for Housing and Planning Research, Cambridge University, 2010
A major two-year study of neighbourhood deprivation in Birmingham for the Barrow Cadbury Trust looks at why, despite long periods of national economic growth and major local regeneration programmes, there are still severe concentrations of poverty and deprivation in neighbourhoods across Birmingham.