deprived neighbourhoods has been launched by neighbourhood renewal
minister Barbara Roche.
areas - residents, professionals, regeneration practitioners,
councillors, local and central government officials. It acknowledges
that gaps in regeneration skills and knowledge need filling in
different ways at national, regional and neighbourhood levels.
An innovative new website Renewal.net forms the centrepiece of the 23
point action plan 'The Learning Curve'. Other suggested approaches
to improving people's skills and knowledge include face to face
neighbourhood renewal advisers, regional neighbourhood renewal
networks, interchange projects for civil servants and a comprehensive
learning programme for neighbourhood renewal.
Launching the Learning Curve at Community Links in Canning Town,
Barbara Roche said:
'This plan sets out a wide range of measures to help more people
develop their skills and learn from what works best in regeneration.
It recognises that no one size fits all - different people need
different learning methods.
'Neighbourhood renewal isn't easy. Being genuinely serious about
improving deprived neighbourhoods means properly investing in the
people working to improve them - providing long-term support for the
long-term delivery on our commitment to our poorest communities.'
The Learning Curve takes forward the£22m skills and knowledge
programme launched last December which promised to put in place a
comprehensive learning and development strategy for neighbourhood
renewal. It has been developed in co- operation with a broad range of
organisations from resident groups, skills providers, local
regeneration partnerships, voluntary groups, service agencies and
Also launching a new online neighbourhood guide Renewal.net, Barbara
'Research shows that only 11% of practitioners currently use
evidence when designing, developing and implementing neighbourhood
renewal projects, but 83% would use it if it was available and
accessible. Renewal.net is a landmark project. It will help people
learn from what works and what doesn't, avoiding the mistakes of the
past and improving access to a range of practical information.
'For the first time ever, evidence on how to improve health, housing
and education; how to create jobs; how to reduce crime - has been
brought together in a clear and accessible form, targeted at those
doing neighbourhood renewal on the ground.'
Renewal.net already contains over 250 new documents on how to do
neighbourhood renewal, including case studies, how-to guides covering
all areas of neighbourhood renewal. It will also provide access to
key policy and guidance documents and host regular discussion forums.
It will evolve and expand as the National Strategy is taken forward.
Welcoming the Learning Curve, David Robinson of Community Links said:
'Successful neighbourhood renewal demands a variety of talents. The
government understands the importance of supplementing local
knowledge and personal understanding with wider skills and
experience. The Learning Curve and Renewal.net will provide
invaluable support for all involved in delivering neighbourhood
1. For more information and copies of the Learning Curve and its
executive summary visit hereor telephone 020
2. The skills and knowledge programme - a key part of the National
Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal - builds on the finding of the
Social Exclusion Unit's Policy Action Team 16 Report, Learning
Lessons, published in 2000, and complements key recommendations of
the Policy Action 2 Report, Skills for Neighbourhood Renewal: Local
solutions, published 1999.
3. The Residents' Consultancy pilot project was also launched last
December, in conjunction with the Department for Education and
4. The launch of the Learning Curve and www.renewal.net fulfil
Commitments 99 and 100 of the National Strategy for Neighbourhood
5. Key actions in the Learning Curve, some of which are already
- setting up a new on-line knowledge management system renewal.net;
- providing face-to-face neighbourhood renewal advisers;
- supporting regional neighbourhood renewal networks;
- evaluating residents consultancies;
- supporting the development of regional centres of excellence;
- setting up a new learning programme for neighbourhood renewal, with
a focus on supporting residents
- supporting residents through local learning centres in priority
- giving civil servants on the ground experience through
- working with Government Offices and local partnerships to help them
access the learning they need to support local delivery; and
- piloting a programme of organisational change with LSPs and their