Turning economic deserts into enterprising communities

12th July 2006.

We know from decades of economic development initiatives – often targeted at the same communities that are as deprived now as they were 50 years ago – that the current approach is insufficient for true regeneration that results in long-term change. Discussions about economic development tend to focus on how much money has been awarded to an area and what programmes and services that money will fund – building a new centre, employment training workshops, business support services. We need to look further than this because regeneration funding entering poor areas frequently leaves those communities straight away in the form of contracts to non-local businesses and staff.