‘Left behind’ neighbourhoods
We define ‘left behind’ areas as places that rank highly on the indices of multiple deprivation and lack social infrastructure
In 2019 we commissioned OCSI to develop new data analysis to explore the difference that social infrastructure makes to outcomes in deprived communities.
Our experience of the Big Local programme indicated that social infrastructure – defined as places and spaces to meet, connectivity (physical and digital) and community engagement – is a key determinant in the prospects of areas.
The research has identified 225 ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods across England, which are listed below. These are predominantly in post-industrial and coastal areas in the North and the Midlands. Their residents have markedly worse socio-economic outcomes than the residents of other equally deprived areas. This suggests the value and importance of social infrastructure. Residents in areas benefitting from it do better on all the key metrics: health, employment, education, skills and household income.
We are continuing to collect data to strengthen this research and improve the methodology so we can better understand the social, economic and cultural dynamics of ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods and help to develop responses which support them to prosper in the future.