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
Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2013-2019
Talent Match is a Big Lottery Funding initiative of up to £100 million. It is investing resources in a number of areas in England where youth unemployment is a significant issue. BIG will invest for a period of up to five years to improve the lives of people aged 18-24 who have been out of education, employment or training for 12 months or more. The aims of the evaluation and learning contract are: to track the success of the programme and projects within it; to identify what works well, for whom and in what circumstances; and to share learning and improve practice.
Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Duration: 2013-2017
Making it Work is part of the 21st Century Life investment area of Investing in Communities, though which Big Lottery Scotland invests in projects that bring improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need. The programme will offer investment of up to £1.25 million each to a partnership in 4 local authority areas: Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife. Up to £2m investment is available to a partnership in Glasgow. Making it Work aims to join up services to tackle the barriers faced by lone parents returning to work, and to create more sustainable local partnerships to support lone parents in the future. The programme is targeting lone parents experiencing the greatest barriers, including those with disabilities, or caring for someone with disabilities; with a large family (3 or more); living in an area with a depressed labour market; living in chaotic circumstances; with little work experience or who have been out of work for two or more years.
Project Director: Alasdair Rae (University of Sheffield)
Project Duration: 2015-2016
The Department of Town and regional Planning at the University of Sheffield is leading a research project commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The study seeks to develop policy proposals which can help local and national policy-makers overcome the traditional disconnect between deprived neighbourhoods and economic growth. The other research partner is the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. The main aims of the study are:
- to identify which deprived places and neighbourhoods in the UK are well connected within urban labour markets, and which are not. This will be achieved through the creation of new measures of neighbourhood connectedness for the whole of the UK
- to "ground-truth" the analysis by examining the neighbourhood types identified across the UK's eleven core cities, plus London. This involves policy and stakeholder consultation at the city region level
- to provide research results in a way that resonates with a policy audience. This necessitates consultation with policy makers and key stakeholders throughout the research.
The project team also includes Ruth Hamilton (University of Sheffield).
Project Director: Dr Richard Crisp
Project Diration: 2014-2015
It is increasingly recognised that measures of economic growth such as gross value added (GVA) fail to capture the nature and distributional outcomes of growth. This is significant as growth may not necessarily benefit households living in poverty. This research will address this by developing a framework of indicators to capture the complex and changing relationship between poverty and growth. It will help identify the extent of ‘inclusive growth’ in Britain’s cities and city-regions.
Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2014-2015
Condensation and mould is an increasing problem in social housing and the private rented sector and will worsen as fuel poverty levels rise and as more poorly installed energy efficient improvements are made to properties without allowing for removing ‘cold bridges’ and offering appropriate ventilation measures.
This project is examining how the problem of condensation can be effectively reduced in social housing properties in Rotherham. The project involves focus groups with tenants, council staff and members to explore their understanding, perceptions and experience of the problem and dealing with it. The study will monitor 20 intervention properties which will receive improved ventilation systems and ten control properties and conduct household questionnaires and in depth interviews with tenants.
The project team also includes Catherine Homer and Anna Cronin de Chavez (Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University).