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123 communities join Our Place programme

More than 120 communities will be taking control of neighbourhood schemes to boost employment, combat crime and improve the health of their residents, as part of a major expansion of the government’s Our Place programme. 

The initiative brings together councillors, public servants, voluntary and community organisations and the community themselves – to tackle local issues and revolutionise the way an area works. 

PSE covered the Our Place programme in our February/March 2014 edition, including an interview with Deb Appleby of Locality, which is delivering the programme with partners on behalf of Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). 

Following the success of 12 pilot areas in 2012-13, the DCLG has made £4.3m of funding available to support at least 100 new areas to adopt this approach, through grants, direct support and shared learning opportunities. 

Communities minister Stephen Williams MP said: “I am delighted to be able to announce that 123 new areas are now being supported to work in an Our Place way. 

“Strong examples from the pilot areas show that when a community is engaged and active in determining how their neighbourhood works, real change is possible.” 

Staple Hill in South Gloucestershire, where Williams made the announcement, has been one of the successful 123 applicants. Led by South Gloucester Council the project aims to empower local people in Staple Hill to become the solution to some of the issues the area faces. These include employment and skills, health, crime and issues facing young people. 

Steve Wyler, outgoing CEO of Locality, said: “We’re looking forward to working with 123 areas from across England implementing using the Our Place approach to transform local public services. 

“Community groups, local authorities, parish and town councils, and local businesses will work in partnership with local citizens to bring change to public service delivery.” 

To view the entire list of 123 new areas, click here

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