Council estate regeneration could generate £140m, report finds

A report carried out by ResPublica has calculated that improving employment outcomes in 12 well-known estates could save the government around £140 million by 2030.

The think tank warned that the government’s plans to regenerate ‘sink’ estates to tackle deprivation could leave communities outside of London neglected.

Great Estates: Putting communities at the heart of regeneration examined 122 estates and found that the government's approach to regeneration would not help poorer communities where house prices are too low to attract investment, and where building new homes will not overcome the problems of long-term deprivation.

The report recommended that the government should create a new Estate Endowment Fund to attract social investment into regeneration. It also called for higher levels of public funding to regeneration given the savings that would come from improved educational, health and employment outcomes in these communities.

Edward Douglas, author of the report, explained: “What our research has found is that there is a significant North-South divide in what the government’s current policy on regeneration of estates can deliver. That’s because it is very focused on “bricks and mortar” – using new homes to fund wider regeneration of places.

“But in many parts of the country, this model does not work, and what is needed is an approach that directly improves employment, education and health. Without looking again at the way regeneration is funded and delivered, we risk leaving estates across the country – from Walsall to Blackpool, Carlisle to Bradford – further behind.

“We also found that regeneration can, when communities are put at the heart of the process, deliver real benefits to local places and impact on people’s lives – and can at the same time deliver new homes in places that desperately need them.

“The new government has a great opportunity to look again at this to ensure opportunity and prosperity are spread to all parts of the country.”