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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2005): Community Regeneration and Development - UK

MAKING CONNECTIONS: AN EVALUATION OF THE COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION PROGRAMMES

M. Taylor and others

Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, 2005 (Research report; 15)

The Community Participation Programmes (CPPs) were set up as part of the government's neighbourhood renewal strategy in the 88 most disadvantaged areas in England. They were designed to:

  • provide funding to stimulate and support community activity in deprived areas so that more people might become involved in community regeneration;
  • help residents to gain the skills and knowledge needed to play an active role, and to support voluntary and community sector involvement as equal partners in Local Strategic Partnerships.

The evaluation suggests that by supporting groups in their own communities, the programmes are building capacity, confidence and social capital. By funding small-scale activities and learning, they are making small but significant contributions to neighbourhood renewal. By developing networks, they are improving cohesion and coordination across the sector, although more needs to be done to engage the most marginalised groups. Finally, by giving voluntary and community sector representatives an acknowledged place on local strategic partnerships, they are building links with service providers, gaining the respect of partners and influencing the way neighbourhood renewal monies are spent.

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