The Groundwork movement: its role in neighbourhood renewal

FORDHAM, Geoff, GORE, Tony, LAWLESS, Paul and FORDHAM, Rachel Knight (2002). The Groundwork movement: its role in neighbourhood renewal. Project Report. York, Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

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The Groundwork movement began with the establishment of the first local Trust in 1981. Now there are almost 50 Trusts across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. All undertake community-based, comprehensive regeneration work, often in the most deprived communities. A study of Groundwork's role in neighbourhood renewal has shown how intensive, patient and above all long-term activity, rooted in the needs and aspirations of local communities, can help rebuild confidence, trust and lay the foundations for renewal. The study found that: - Groundwork has successfully intervened to stimulate a wide range of projects in the most difficult neighbourhoods, where other agencies are reluctant to go. - Its local involvement has frequently exerted significant influence over the practices of mainstream agencies. - Groundwork invariably works with and through local communities, and in all cases local community organisations had been strengthened by Groundwork's presence. - However, the study also detected a lack of administrative rigour in some cases, and a reluctance to undertake detailed monitoring. - Some local Trusts were reluctant to 'market' the organisation, and thus are not disseminating their experience sufficiently widely. - Extensive capacity building is a precondition if residents in long-neglected communities are to exert real influence over regeneration programmes. - For Groundwork, as for other neighbourhood renewal agencies, keeping pace with the development of the neighbourhood renewal agenda - which is already leading to staff shortages in some crucial areas - requires substantial investment in staff development (and retention), to ensure an adequate supply of skills is available. - The researchers conclude that the extent of deprivation on many estates means that significant change cannot be achieved except in the very long term and while housing policy concentrates the most vulnerable in particular neighbourhoods high levels of continuing support will be necessary.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Natural and Build Environment
Depositing User: Tony Gore
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2018 15:58
Last Modified: 12 May 2021 19:10

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