Neighbourhood deprivation in England endures. Compared to the rest of the country, quality-of-life outcomes in deprived neighbourhoods have not improved significantly despite thirty years of policy-based intervention. Over the last decade in particular, the importance of involving communities in regenerating their neighbourhoods – creating sustainable places where people positively choose to live – has been at the heart of policy. However, the realities of delivering community-led regeneration have proved complex and the benefits difficult to capture in terms aligned to the requirements of evidence-based policy making. Despite this, it is argued that failure to engage communities makes sustainable regeneration challenging and less likely to result in positive outcomes. Through a case study, the paper offers evidence of the cruciality of community engagement in providing the building blocks for sustainable neighbourhood regeneration. In doing so, important lessons for local policy makers, within the context of public sector financial austerity, are identified.
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- neighbourhood regeneration
- neighbourhood deprivation
- community engagement