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

Passion for Life Evaluation

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2010-2011

This report presents the findings of a small evaluation project principally designed to investigate the impact of the Passion for life programme on participants and volunteers. Passion for life is an innovative pilot programme aimed at empowering the Over 60's to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Jointly supported by NHS Doncaster and
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC) Passion for life was launched in September 2009 and initially funded for a period of eighteen months until the 31st March 2011. The programme is delivered by volunteers with assistance from the support service provider, Age UK Doncaster (formerly Age Concern Doncaster).

Financial Capability

Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Duration: 2010-2011

Evaluation of the Sheffield Financial Capability project being delivered by Financial Inclusion Services Yorkshire.

Familes and Work: Revisiting Barriers to Employment

Project Director: Professor David Robinson
Project Duration: 2011

This study was commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions to explore whether incentives intended to support parents to make the transition into work were succeeding in helping parents overcome barriers known to impede engagement in the formal labour market.

Monetising health benefits of energy efficiency programmes

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2011

This model was developed by a team led by the London School of Tropical Medicine with University College London Bartlett School of Graduate Studies and UCL Energy Institute, Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, Warwick University, and Ulster University.

York Racing Impact Study

Project Director: Professor Paul Lawless
Project Duration: 2011

A study assessing the economic impact of the horse racing industry in the region. The work included identifying impact flowing from horse racing itself, associated activity, non-racing activity at courses, training and breeding.

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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