Renaisi is delighted to be working with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on a second phase of the Neighbourhood Planning Capacity Building in Deprived Areas Project. The project builds on our work in 2015-16 and aims to help the Department understand how best to build the capacity of local voluntary and community organisations in deprived areas, to advocate for neighbourhood planning and encourage and support their communities to take up the opportunity.
Neighbourhood planning is one of the government’s flagship policies for devolving power and decision making to local communities. The government wants communities to become more self-reliant and to take advantage of new powers that are available to them to improve their local areas, including through neighbourhood planning. Although the take up of neighbourhood planning across England since the Localism Act came into force in 2011 has been good, it is by no means universal. There are parts of the country where take up is low, and deprived, urban areas in particular have been slow to take advantage of the opportunity.
Our aim is to build the capacity of voluntary and community organisations in six areas in the most deprived 20% of wards on the IMD 2015 to enable them to raise awareness of neighbourhood planning within their local community. This includes designing and delivering a programme of training to help them gain a greater understanding of the process and benefits of neighbourhood planning and then supporting them to deliver on-the-ground activities in their local communities, funded through a small grant.
As with phase one, DCLG wants to inspire similar communities to take up neighbourhood planning. Therefore, understanding what works and what the barriers are is a key part of the project and Renaisi will be capturing and disseminating insights. This includes the production of an evaluation report and materials such as training resources and case studies.
Donna Lightbown, Renaisi’s director responsible for neighbourhoods and communities said:
“We are really excited to be delivering the second phase of this project and to build on our previous work with DCLG. It will be a great opportunity to explore further the valuable lessons we obtained from the first phase and empower six fantastic communities through neighbourhood planning.”
Case studies from the first phase have recently been published on the MyCommunity website and include examples of successful neighbourhood planning engagement with a wide range of communities around the country, including gypsies and travellers in Basildon and a Bangladeshi Women’s Association in Tipton, West Midlands.
For more information, contact Renaisi direct through Donna Lightbown, firstname.lastname@example.org