Headlines: March 13th, 2000

A report by the Social Exclusion Unit calls for a National Centre for Neighbourhood Renewal to be set up. The review team, one of 18 which are following up an earlier report on a national strategy for neighbourhood renewal, were given the task of finding out what lessons could be learned for inclusion in a national strategy document They concluded that a Centre is needed for training public sector professionals working in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The Centre should provide initial and follow up training and give particular emphasis to the skills and knowledge needed to work in multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships. It would also become the repository of best practice.The report also recommends new forms of funding. It calls for a development fund to support social entrepreneurs and a bursary scheme to enable directors of new projects to acquire business and management skills. It also advocates new ways of promoting community leaders and social entrepreneurs.