How government regeneration targets fail deprived areas
Eilís Lawlor, Jeremy Nicholls
26 March 2008
In the three decades since the Urban Regeneration Act, billions have been spent on low-income neighbourhoods, yet inequality continues to increase.
Now, new research from NEF using Social Return on Investment (SROI) principles, evaluating the impact of one of the government’s flagship programmes: the ‘Local Enterprise Growth Initiative’ (LEGI) says that investment has not been targeted at the places where it would have the most impact because it has not been supported by robust measurement.
NEF’s report, Hitting the target, missing the point: How Government Regeneration Targets fail deprived areas, is the first of two nef reports on inequality and local economic development, and shows that a new, more sophisticated approach to measuring change is needed so that a clearer understanding of the impact of regeneration programmes such as the LEGIs can be used to inform the development of future policy. Evaluation of the impact of regeneration programmes tends to focus on easy to measure economic outputs — such as the number of jobs and enterprises created and people trained. However, ‘outputs’ like these do not provide a true, or sufficient measurement of the change to people’s lives. nef research shows, for example, that an increase in the quantity of jobs in an area does not necessarily change underlying inequalities. nef analysed the effects of the first year of a LEGI programme in the St Helens metropolitan borough of Merseyside.
As well as the headline outcomes of increasing local enterprise, employment and self-employment, nef’s research modelled a range of other benefits that local people believed would flow from the programme – the changes that they believe really matter — such as improvements in health, crime and quality of life.
If you back a recovery plan based around great public services, protecting the planet and reducing inequality, please support NEF to build back better.
In November, we hosted a webinar series on the urgent needs of coastal areas and how nature and people on the coast are key to a green and fair recovery.
04 December 2020
After its legacy of deindustrialisation, attempts to stop a new coal mine in West Cumbria have to bring along disenfranchised workers and communities.
26 October 2020
We need to recognise the true social value of small businesses
Frances Northrop, Emmet Kiberd
15 October 2020
The economic fallout from Covid-19 is likely to significantly increase regional inequalities
Alex Chapman, Lukasz Krebel
23 September 2020