How to create resilient neighbourhoods

Regeneration and economic development

We have a longstanding interest in researching and evaluating regeneration and economic development programmes. Our staff have national and international reputations in these areas, and many act in an advisory capacity to national and local government.

Through our wide-ranging work, we research deprived areas and populations, and the drivers and impacts of community involvement and participation. We evaluate programmes and projects that aim to support regeneration and community development, and assess their impact.

In 2010, we completed the ten-year evaluation of the New Deal for Communities initiative on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government. It was the largest and most comprehensive evaluation of an area-based initiative ever commissioned in the UK.

In the field of economic development, we look at local and regional economies, and what may be the drivers for economic development in a given context. We evaluate programmes and projects that aim to promote economic growth, and assess their impact on geographic areas and communities. Our research has informed EU, national, regional and local strategy and policy.

Examples of our work include

  • an assessment of schemes promoting higher level skills as a basis for improved economic performance
  • a review of rural community-based social enterprises as a basis for reviving village economies
  • a study of the economic links between coalfield areas undergoing regeneration and neighbouring cities
  • an estimate of the scale and nature of the seaside tourism industry
Search our work

Talent Match Evaluation and Learning Contract

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2013-2019

Talent Match is a Big Lottery Funding initiative of up to £100 million. It is investing resources in a number of areas in England where youth unemployment is a significant issue. BIG will invest for a period of up to five years to improve the lives of people aged 18-24 who have been out of education, employment or training for 12 months or more. The aims of the evaluation and learning contract are: to track the success of the programme and projects within it; to identify what works well, for whom and in what circumstances; and to share learning and improve practice.

Green Leaders evaluation

Project Director: Dr Will Eadson
Project Duration: 2016-2018

Groundwork’s Green Leaders programme aims to give 900 disadvantaged young people (aged 14-19) a stepping stone to future employment by recruiting them to lead local environmental projects. In doing so, the programme also aims to make local environmental improvements and catalyse climate action in local communities. The evaluation involves tracking outcomes through a range of qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as providing learning to projects throughout the duration of the programme

Making it Work Evaluation

Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Duration: 2013-2017

Making it Work is part of the 21st Century Life investment area of Investing in Communities, though which Big Lottery Scotland invests in projects that bring improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need. The programme will offer investment of up to £1.25 million each to a partnership in 4 local authority areas: Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife. Up to £2m investment is available to a partnership in Glasgow. Making it Work aims to join up services to tackle the barriers faced by lone parents returning to work, and to create more sustainable local partnerships to support lone parents in the future. The programme is targeting lone parents experiencing the greatest barriers, including those with disabilities, or caring for someone with disabilities; with a large family (3 or more);  living in an area with a depressed labour market; living in chaotic circumstances; with little work experience or who have been out of work for two or more years.

The Lambeth Housing Standard Health Impact Assessment

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2015-2016

To carry out a Health Impact Assessment on the health and quality of life, including security and mental well-being of Lambeth’s residents based on the impact of the Decent Homes (‘DH’) programme and the Lambeth Housing Standard (‘LHS’) programme on the Council’s own housing stock. 

Community-led approaches to tackling poverty

Project Director: Dr Richard Crisp
Project Duration: 2015-2016

This project is an evidence review that will synthesise existing evidence on the impact of community-led activities on poverty and identify the factors that contribute to effective interventions. It will enhance understanding of what types of community-led activities should be promoted within anti-poverty strategies.

Key clients

Big Lottery Fund
Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation
Community Fund
Délégation interministérielle à la ville (DIV)
Department for Communities and Local Government
Department for Work and Pensions
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR)
Financial Inclusion Services (Yorkshire)
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT)
Furness Enterprise Ltd
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Lambeth Council
New Deal for Communities Partnerships
North East Derbyshire District Council
Oldham Council
Visit Wales
Voluntary Action Rotherham
Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council
Working Links
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