Headlines: October 16th, 2003

A panel of 15 business leaders are offering their skills and expertise to Local Strategic Partnerships in disadvantaged areas. They will help the partnerships to identify opportunities for private sector activity, and suggest how to overcome any barriers.A key objective of the Neighbourhood Renewal Private Sector Panel, launched by the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, will be to encourage businesses to unlock the potential of many disadvantaged communities and to invest in deprived neighbourhoods.

The Panel is made up from chief executives from a wide range of companies including Orange UK, Cadbury Europe, John Lewis Partnership and Powergen UK plc. The members will bring a wealth of business experience from across the private sector.

John Prescott said: “Successful economic regeneration is vital to reversing the deep rooted problems of our most deprived areas. But in too many communities, the private sector is virtually absent. We must challenge the myth that disadvantaged areas are no-go areas for business, because the reality tells a different story. Whether it’s new markets to increase profitability, developing untapped talent, job creation for residents or better local services, investment in deprived areas is bringing benefits to both companies and the wider community.

This initiative complements the DTI ‘City Growth’ Strategy to revitalize deprived urban areas which is based on ideas developed by Professor Michael Porter. This strategy places enterprise at the heart of urban regeneration rather than social disadvantage. See Radical New Approach to Regeneration – Publicnet Briefing 9 October 2003.