RR13: Understanding the rollout of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund

1st October 2008.

Earlier this year, CLES reported on the initial reaction to the Working Neighbourhoods Fund, and found that for many practitioners the move to the new worklessness focused fund had been controversial. Six months on, this CLES Rapid Research seeks to examine how local authorities intend to use their Working Neighbourhoods Fund allocation. Whilst CLES’ previous research focused on the initial reaction of local authorities and third sector organisations to the change to the Working Neighbourhoods Fund, this Rapid Research moves the debate forward and considers how the Working Neighbourhoods Fund will, and is, being used.

Through speaking with regeneration practitioners from a range of local authorities from the North West, the North East and London, the article considers:

  • what were their initial responses to the change to the Working Neighbourhoods Fund, and has their opinion changed?
  • how is their local authority spending or planning to spend the Working Neighbourhoods Fund?
  • what do they see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund?
  • what has been the impact of the shift from Neighbourhoods Renewal Fund to Working Neighbourhoods Fund on the third sector?
  • has worklessness moved up the policy and political agenda in their local authority?
  • does the Working Neighbourhoods Fund have the potential to tackle long-term issues?