Abstracts: January 14th, 2009

The Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy, which is funded by the Renewal Fund, has had a beneficial impact on the delivery of services in the 88 most deprived areas of the UK and has boosted partnership working. It has been less successful in the re-aligning and re-allocation of mainstream budgets.

The Renewal Fund. has supported a diverse and broad range of interventions. They include visible policing, youth diversion and offender support. In education, attainment has been raised, exclusions reduced and out of school activity and parental involvement have been promoted. In health, there have been preventive interventions, teenage pregnancy reduced and access to services enhanced.

The evaluation also suggests that the Renewal Fund has achieved an impact on the delivery of services. This includes an increased focus on deprived areas and an increase in the volume and accessibility of services. New ideas have been tested and changes made in the way that services are delivered.

Although improved partnership working was a key achievement of the Renewal Fund, the cumulative impact and effectiveness has not been maximised due to limiting factors such as failure to evaluate interventions with the result that there is a limited understanding of what does and does not work. Also data on performance, outcomes and impacts have not been collected in a robust fashion, resulting in an inconsistent understanding of progress.

Impacts and Outcomes of the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund is available from Communities and Local Government. http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/communities/pdf/1077036