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Great Estates: Putting communities at the heart of regeneration – Press Release

10th November 2016

  • ResPublica


Research by think tank ResPublica finds that Government plans for estate regeneration risks a North-South divide that would leave behind deprived communities outside London
Strict Embargo: 00:01 10th November 2016


In a study of 122 estates around the country, ResPublica found that the Government’s approach to regeneration will not help poorer communities where house prices are too low to attract investment, and where building new homes will not overcome the problems of long-term deprivation.

The Government has made available just £140 million for regeneration of 100 estates. ResPublica’s study found that more funding could be made available, as improving employment outcomes in just 12 well-known estates could generate Government savings to the tune of at least £140 million by 2030.

In February this year, the then Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to regenerate “sink” estates to tackle deprivation and build new homes. Alongside this, funding of £140 million was announced to support regeneration on 100 estates, with most of the costs of regeneration coming from the private sector. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is due to publish Lord Heseltine’s Estate Regeneration Strategy ahead of the Autumn Statement on 23rd November, this think tank report highlights where this strategy could fail unless the Government changes its approach. In Great Estates: Putting communities at the heart of regeneration, ResPublica sets out what can be done to maximise the potential of estates. It recommends the creation of a new Estate Endowment Fund to attract social investment into regeneration. It also argues that the Government should consider directing higher levels of public funding to regeneration given the savings that would come from improved educational, health and employment outcomes in these communities.

Graham Allen, Labour MP for Nottingham North and member of the Government’s Estate Regeneration Panel, said: “I fully support the thinking behind ResPublica’s report. We need to meet housing shortages in London and the South East, but it is also vital that we look at what can have a meaningful impact on the lives of residents on estates around the country.

“It is vital that we recognise the different needs of communities on estates around the country, and look at new ways to meet those needs. ResPublica’s innovative ideas set out the way forward for estates, and I urge the Government to pay full heed to them.”

James Cartlidge, Conservative MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Planning, said: “Transforming our estates can deliver new homes where they are needed and boost the life chances of those who live on them. But it is also important that residents get a say over any redevelopment, and that we look at new ways to attract investment in estates around the country so that everyone can benefit.

“ResPublica’s timely report on estate regeneration is very welcome, as this is an issue that should be at the heart of a One Nation agenda for our country.”

ResPublica Report author Edward Douglas said: “What our research has found is that there is a significant North-South divide in what the Government’s current policy on regeneration of estates can deliver. That’s because it is very focused on ‘bricks and mortar’ – using new homes to fund wider regeneration of places.

“But in many parts of the country, this model does not work, and what is needed is an approach that directly improves employment, education and health. Without looking again at the way regeneration is funded and delivered, we risk leaving estates across the country – from Walsall to Blackpool, Carlisle to Bradford – further behind.

“We also found that regeneration can, when communities are put at the heart of the process, deliver real benefits to local places and impact on people’s lives – and can at the same time deliver new homes in places that desperately need them. The new Government has a great opportunity to look again at this to ensure opportunity and prosperity are spread to all parts of the country.”


Notes to the editors:

1)      Full details of the Government’s estate regeneration announcement can be found at
2)      The 12 estates used in this analysis were: Wren’s Nest, Dudley; Lincoln Green, Leeds; Brinnington and Adswood, Stockport; Hattersley, Tameside; Holme Wood, Bradford; Pool Farm, Birmingham; Coal Pool, Walsall; Victoria Estate, Stockton-on-Tees; Grange Park, Blackpool; Gwavas, Cornwall; Bentilee, Stoke-on-Trent. On each of these estates, unemployment levels are above their local authority average. We calculated the financial implications of raising employment outcomes on these estates to bring them into line with the local authority levels. The savings in Jobseeker’s Allowance, and the revenue (Income Tax and National Insurance) uplifts, were calculated to 2030. The total financial impact was estimated at £139,948,870.87.
3)       For more information please contact ResPublica’s External Affairs Manager Mark Heffernan on 078544 86326 or at

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