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Housing Organising and deciding

Making regeneration work for residents

A year ago, Local Trust launched Developing potential, a set of resources to help communities gain from regeneration and development. Now Helen Nicol, one of the report authors, wants to create a new support network of communities facing development and regeneration.

How can development enhance communities?

Last year, I co-authored Developing potential, a report and toolkit based upon research with five Big Local areas and community groups across England. The report offers recommendations for how the regeneration sector can practically involve communities in their own redevelopment, while the toolkit is focused on principles that describe ways of working that have led to positive outcomes for such communities.

When done well, regeneration can benefit rather than devastate communities, building on what is good about an area while addressing issues affecting residents. It is possible to leverage opportunities and positive outcomes from regeneration, and there are some great examples of how this has been done in the toolkit.

Bringing people together to form a new network supporting communities facing development and regeneration is the next step.

Communities learning together

Would you find it useful to learn about these resources in person, learn from residents who have successfully navigated regeneration, and support others who are just getting started?

Local Trust is going to continue what we started with Developing potential by coordinating a new regeneration network for communities. This will be both for Big Local areas and any other resident group wanting to learn and give support to others.

We know that there is an appetite to hear from community groups and that this knowledge is increasingly valued.

The focus and content of the network ultimately will be for its members to decide. Our hunch is that a group learning and supporting each other to achieve change in their community will be important in and of itself. In the long term, we imagine this network being a space for like-minded communities to come together with sector experts, creatives, designers, developers, policymakers, and others working in the built environment.

We know that there is an appetite to hear from community groups, to share best practice and that this knowledge is increasingly valued. We are in the process of consulting with residents now, and I invite people to get in touch and tell me how the network could be useful for your community group.

Help us make the network happen

We are looking for a core group of initial members who can come together to help us design and develop the network.  If your community is facing development or regeneration this could be a way to learn and support others. Your role will be to decide what the network will be, how it will work, who will be in it, and what it will do. All we expect is that the group commits to the Local Trust values. This means:

  • Collaborative and equal; all members should have an equal stake in the network, deciding what it is and what it does.
  • Everyone is an expert, and all expertise should be valued equally.
  • Outward-looking; we encourage members to engage with communities and organisations outside of the network to increase opportunities to learn from one another and work together.

Interested in getting involved?

We are in the process of setting up this new network supporting communities facing development and regeneration, so please get in touch if you would like to sign up to become a founder member, or to find out more about the network. Email me (Helen), or Georgie at Local Trust.

Read and download Developing Potential: A guide for communities