Policy and statistics

Fred Robinson and Alan Townsend (Durham University) are taking a lead on producing an account of the development, implementation and impact of community-based regeneration policies and programmes in each area using records of central and local government, community organisations, the media and interviews with key actors, past and present. They are also producing time-ordered narratives describing demographic, economic and social changes in the sub-localities since 1971 – just about the peak of the UK’s industrial status owing to the large scale of employment of women in light industries, an important factor in all the study areas. The key source for data will be the decennial censuses. Considerable use was made of 1961 and 1971 data in the original CDP studies. We are using the 2011 Census results and therefore will have time ordered quantitative narratives of social and economic change over a 40 year period during which the UK as a whole and the study areas in particular were transformed from industrial to post-industrial in character.

Archives and Interviews

Led by Andrea Armstrong (Durham University) and Ben Kyneswood (Warwick University) researchers are undertaking research – in the North East (Benwell in West Newcastle and North Shields) and Coventry – on local attitudes, actions, projects, plans, hopes and disappointments from archive material, reports, qualitative interviews and focus groups.  Interviews have been undertaken with former Community Development Project (CDP) workers; policy makers involved in regeneration and/or community development and engagement; community activists and residents. The interviews are focusing on the main themes of the Imagine project – changing perceptions of community; how important is history in imagining a future; the changing nature of community involvement and hopes and fears for the future.

Co-inquiry Action Research Groups

These are groups of academic and community researchers, one in the North East and one in Coventry, members of which are involved in steering and discussing the research as it develops, overseeing provision of training in oral history interviewing, DVD making, sharing of ongoing activities and findings, planning of the launch, exhibitions and exchange visits between areas, collective analysis and dissemination planning.

Imagine Group Meeting

Imagine Group Meeting at St James’ Church, Benwell

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