In February this year, the then Prime Minister David Cameron
announced plans to regenerate so called
"sink" estates to tackle deprivation and build new homes.
funding of £140 million was announced to
support regeneration on 100 estates, with most of
the costs of regeneration coming from the private
It is understood 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.
A new report Great Estates: Putting communities at the
heart of regeneration, by independent
Think-Tank ResPublica, launched this week, highlights where this
strategy could fall short unless the Government changes its
The report sets out how communities can be put at the heart of
the Government's forthcoming Estate Regeneration Strategy - and
what else needs to be done to ensure prosperity and opportunity is
spread to all parts of the country. Crucially, it warns that
there is a North-South divide in the current approach to funding
regeneration that risks leaving behind hundreds of communities
outside London and the South East.
In a study of 122 estates around the country, the report finds
that on many deprived estates, housing demand is not sufficient to
attract private investment, and that building new homes is not the
answer to local needs in those places. Where new housing is needed,
we find that communities must be empowered to shape the form of
that development and benefit from it.
Key recommendations include:
- The Department for Communities and Local Government should
produce best practice guidance as part of the Estate Regeneration
Strategy, with a new Residents' Charter at its core - based on
transparency, participation, community representation and resident
- A "What Works Centre" on estate regeneration should be
established to attract more social investment into estates and
share best practice. This the Report argues could be funded by a
newly created Estates Endowment Fund drawn from part of the £140
million currently available.
- The government should explore partial VAT relief for
refurbishment costs to support community-led regeneration.