From January to June 2016, the Young Foundation worked with Power to Change and Social Enterprise UK in three very different Sheffield neighbourhoods, Manor, Upperthorpe and Heeley, to explore approaches to place-based investment in the city.
Over the past two years The Young Foundation has developed an approach to place-based transformation which emphasises the importance of connecting tangible action and innovation to deep insights into people’s lives, their challenges and aspirations, and the assets within communities. This approach connects strongly with Power to Change’s ambitions to foster better places through community businesses.
The report is based on semi-structured interviews with local leaders, community business people and stakeholders in the three communities, light-touch tools and techniques for gathering local people’s insight and co-creating findings and a mapping exercise to obtain an overview of the extent and nature of existing community business activity in Sheffield.
We found three very different communities in three very different stages of readiness to engage meaningfully with discussions about the role and potential for community business to drive better places. We think that potential institutional responses to the diversity of conditions in which communities find themselves should take account of where these communities sit in terms of levels of local activism, and the extent of local consensus and unity around challenges, values and aspirations. Our recommendations for next steps in each of the three communities is based on our assessment of where each sits in these terms.
Click here to download our report on this initial 6-month project and read our principal recommendations for place based funding to drive better places.