Headlines: December 7th, 2001

Whitehall Departments are vying to put money into regeneration. The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit in the DTLR has announced a 21.6 million pounds skills and knowledge programme. At the same time the Active Community Unit in the Home Office announced a 13.5 million pounds programme to provide training and salaries for people in the most deprived areas where neighbourhood renewal is in progress.The skills and knowledge programme is an attempt to remedy the failure of many local regeneration initiatives to deliver change. A report by the Social Exclusion Unit revealed that that many local initiatives fail to bring about change because community leaders lack support, while policy-makers and professionals lack understanding of deprived neighbourhoods. Residents of deprived areas and regeneration practitioners are to receive the cash boost to improve their skills and knowledge. Grants of up to 5,000 pounds will be payable to individuals or organisations to gain extra skills and training in regeneration.

The Active Community funding will provide grants up to 50,000 pounds over three years to voluntary and community organizations to train and pay the salary of people working to tackle social exclusion. Priority will be given to those organizations that aim to recruit people from within the target community.

The publicity issued by the two units suggest that joined up government is on the way with common objectives, but it has not yet filtered down to delivery.