How to create resilient neighbourhoods
CRESR

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


Landmark Art and Community Resilience

Project Director: Aimee Ambrose
Project Duration: 2013

The use of 'landmark' sculptures as a means of commemorating and regenerating communities is an established practice. Anthony Gormley's 'Angel of the North' and Damien Hirst's 'Verity' are prominent examples. There are also many lesser known examples around the country. However, little is known about how they impact on their host communities. A key aim of the research is to compare the intended and actual impacts of a number of landmark sculpture projects in relation to a range of social, educational, physical and health variables in order to learn lessons for future projects of this nature, such as the Man of Steel- a large icon planned to commemorate traditional industries in the Sheffield City Region. The project brings together experts in materials science & engineering, education, inclusion, social work, planning and regeneration from around the University.


Switched on Communities: Collective Switching for a Brighter Future?

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2013

Collective switching is a relatively new phenomenon in the UK. Community switching initiatives have the potential to enhance individual and community resilience by empowering consumers and communities to respond to increasing fuel bills through partnership for community action and possibly future sustainable behaviour. The aim of this project was to explore collective switching as an emerging community consumer movement.


Our Big Gig

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2013-2014

Our Big Gig was a community music celebration which took place across the UK from the 11th to the 14th July 2013. This annual event aims to bring communities together to celebrate their local musical talents and get more people involved in music making.

All Our Big Gig events are organised by local volunteers on the ground in their communities with support from Superact’s Regional Managers. All events were at least four hours long, free to attend and open to all, providing attendees with opportunities to participate in a range of musical activities.


The Social Benefits of Engagement with Culture and Sport

Project Director: Professor Peter Taylor (SIRC)
Project Duration: 2012-2013

Commissioned under the DCMS CASE programme this project seeks to enhance knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture and sport on well-being. The study provides evidence on an array of social impacts and provides guidance as to how impact can be measured in the future.


Meta Evaluation of the 2012 games

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2011-2013

Peter Wells was an expert adviser to the team undertaking the Meta Evaluation of the London 2012 Games (Olympics and Paralympics). The role involved the review of the reports being produced by the evaluation team.


Key clients

Big Lottery Fund
Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation
Community Fund
DEFRA
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
Groundwork
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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