Investment much reach beyond city level
Investment must reach beyond city level and provide opportunities for local people to connect and contribute
This new report from HOPE not hate charitable trust highlights the importance of towns in the re-building of community’s post COVID-19.
There has been decades of neglect in towns throughout England and as the report highlights this has had an affect on a significant number of towns in the North, in many cases disproportionality to other regions in England. We agree that there is a need for a place based approach to address the issues that affect so many of the towns in the North of England, ensuring that an individual plans are implemented rather than national policy, which is usually created in Whitehall, and does not serve or benefit many of the people living in Northern towns.
We must respect the identity of Northern towns and create a counter narrative to the one of ‘dumps and dives’ which affects people’s own sense of belonging and identity. Investment into these places needs to focus on increasing the sense of shared heritage, and therefore identity and connection.
We also need to see investment into the social infrastructure in many of the Northern towns where there is a ‘visible decline’, investment needs to reach beyond city level and provide opportunities for people to connect and contribute.
It is vital that the people who live in these towns, are equal stakeholders in the development of recommendations and future plans. The People’s Powerhouse are doing just that, a movement shaping the debate around the Northern Powerhouse through engagement and outreach, to ensure that people and communities are at the heart of the Powerhouse plans, not the periphery.
Giving real power and say to local communities, is the missing ingredient to so many national and local plans and conversations. Including diverse voices, that bring a rich experience, will create a wider conversation that ensures investment gets to the people that need it most.
Stephanie Riches, The People’s Powerhouse