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

Coastal communities in South East England

Project Manager: Professor Christina Beatty / Professor Steve Fothergill
Project Duration: 2011-2012

A review of the statistical evidence on the extent of economic and social disadvantage in the coastal communities of the South East LEP.

Village SOS Evaluation

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2011-2012

Village SOS is a programme of the Big Lottery Fund undertaken in partnership with BBC ONE. The programme aims to provide a new model for the revitalisation of disadvantaged rural communities in the United Kingdom. The programme supported the funding of 10 village schemes across the UK, the deployment of a 'village champion' to work with these villages over 12 months, and for six of the schemes to feature in a BBC ONE television series.

EDF Evaluation

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2011-2012

The main aim of the research is to provide evidence and learning which will support EDFET trustees to meet their operational objectives for 2011 and which will help the trustees and EDF Energy shape the future direction of the Trust in meeting its overall aims.

Statistical Bias for Unitaries

Project Director: Dr Tony Gore
Project Duration: 2011

A number of new Unitary Councils were formed in 2009 by combining constituent shire districts into single units. This is likely to lead to the discontinuation of several key statistics for the constituent parts of these new county district. In some places this will have the effect of masking major variations in deprivation, unemployment, economic opportunity and human capital. This study examined a range of statistical sources to pinpoint which areas were likely to lose out in this way. The aim is to ensure that central government and the official statistical authorities continue to assemble and publish figures for the former shire districts, so that their pressing needs are not obscured by amalgamation with more affluent areas.

Review of Burngreave NDC

Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Duration: 2011

An End of Programme Evaluation of the Burngreave New Deal for Communities Programme in Sheffield.

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
Labour Party
Lambeth Council
Local Trust
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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