Rebalancing Local Economies: Widening economic opportunities for people in deprived communities
A major new study by ippr north, working with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and The Northern Way, analyses the impact of targeted investment and sustained economic growth, as well as active involvement by local people and collaboration with agencies in the wider area, in improving prospects for the North's most deprived communities.
The report shows 57 per cent of the poorest neighbourhoods in the North of England had above-average improvement to employment prior to the recession.
The research found that targeted investment and sustained economic growth, as well as active involvement by local people and collaboration with agencies in the wider area, can improve prospects for the North's most deprived communities.
The report also found that while economic growth, investment and increasing people's ability to work are vital, if deprived neighbourhoods are to improve they need to develop a positive community outlook and a sense of aspiration.
The study compared the experience of 'matched pairs' of deprived neighbourhoods in Liverpool, Leeds and Middlesbrough and analysed why some areas improved their prospects over the past decade while others lagged. Researchers found that:
- early intervention to improve housing and tackle local 'crime and grime' issues encourage people with the best skills and potential to stay in the neighbourhood
- more innovation and local flexibility in welfare-to-work programmes is key to connecting unemployed people in neighbourhoods to job opportunities in the wider economy
- a positive and outward-looking neighbourhood spirit fosters confidence, leadership and aspiration and improves local economic prospects.