Monday, 12 December 2011

The Regeneration Game - New Rules

The Scottish Government have released their new regeneration strategy. Well worth a read.

An initial scan reveals a number of areas which could impact on any future regeneration projects based around the Sheds (and of course everywhere else!).

First and foremost, we have a handy definition for what is actually considered "regeneration".

Regeneration is the holistic process of reversing the economic, physical and social decline of places where market forces alone won’t suffice. This holistic theme runs throughout this Strategy and forms the basis for the propositions and conclusions.

Good start. Holistic is good. Provided everyone's signed up to being holistic of course.
A number of key themes were identified in the initial discussion papers which informed the report.

- Clarification on the roles and responsibilities that different organisations have in delivering regeneration

- Recognition that a coordinated approach is needed at a local level and across public services to tackle area-based disadvantage

- The importance of community led regeneration

- Recognition of the constraints on public sector finances alongside a continued need for appropriate grant support and innovative funding solutions

- The importance of placemaking in supporting successful communities

- Support for town centres as a central part of community life

Hmmm. Liking where the community appear to be placed in this regeneration process. Mind you, we have all heard similar things before. The strategy recognises some of the ingredients for regeneration which has been measurably successful;

Our future regeneration activity must focus on outcomes and take account of lessons learned. The key success factors for designing and delivering regeneration interventions, are detailed below. Public, private and third sector partners should consider these key elements when delivering regeneration locally.

- puts communities first, effectively involving local residents in the regeneration process and empowering communities

- is holistic, making connections between the physical, social and economic dimensions

- adopts a long-term vision for a places and focuses the on the safety and quality of places
- takes account of the specific function of neighbourhoods and integrates regeneration initiatives into wider economic strategies
- makes tailored interventions to link economic opportunity and need to address worklessness and deliver sustainable quality employment

- is supported by simple and aligned funding streams and maximises the impact from mainstream resource by better integration with place-based interventions
- Has strong leadership with clear accountability and makes effective use of partnership working, involving the private sector, both in investment and in shaping ideas and development.

The really interesting stuff for me is from page 20 "Community Led Regeneration. Local People Delivering Local Change", which outlines exactly how communities will be able to influence regeneration processes and what resource will be made available from Government to assist. Here's a few highlights, then seriously, go read the report.


Community led regeneration is about local people identifying for themselves the issues and opportunities in their areas, deciding what to do about them, and being responsible for delivering the economic, social and environmental action that will make a difference. It is dependent on the energy and commitment of local people themselves and has a wide range of benefits.

Community led regeneration covers a spectrum of activity from committed volunteers coming together informally to campaign or act, to the work of enterprising local community anchor organisations like Development Trusts and community based housing associations.

Building on the success of the Wider Role fund and recognising the important role that Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and other community groups like Development Trusts play in delivering change at a local level, we have developed the People and Communities Fund. This fund forms part of the overarching Regeneration Investment Fund.

The Scottish Government will provide £7.9m per annum from 2012 to 2015 to support the People and Communities Fund, specifically to promote and support community led regeneration. The details of this fund will be announced in 2012, however, activity will include:

- Building on the Wider Role fund, funding to support and strengthen local community anchor organisations across Scotland, including RSLs and Development Trusts. These will be organisations that deliver local support for community asset ownership through the Community Ownership Support Service. This service, provided through the Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS), provides help and advice to community organisations interested in asset ownership.  

- Investment in a new community capacity building programme. This will focus on areas where there are currently few local organisations, weak networks amongst local people and where local people's skills and confidence need to be nurtured. It will have a focus on helping people to decide how budgets in their areas are spent.

Lots more to read, and as ever, the devil isn't so much in the detail as in the reality of local delivery, but certainly this would seem to give a clear nod as to where regeneration initiatives will be steered from next year. Interesting times.

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