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East Manchester ‘making good progress’ says report

Ten-year regeneration plan is getting results, but still work to do

Published on August 23rd 2010.


East Manchester ‘making good progress’ says report

East Manchester is making progress in areas of worklessness, education and crime levels, according to a new report.

An report into the area’s New Deal for Communities (NDC) Beacons for a Brighter Future programme, commissioned by regeneration company New East Manchester, shows that overall it was successful in meeting its objectives and substantially improving the area.

The £51m programme started in 1999 and ended in March. The initiative formed part of the government’s £2bn New Deal for Communities Programme which aimed to reduce the gap between 39 of the UK’s most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of the country.

The report, carried out by regeneration consultancy ekosgen, involved a survey of more than 150 residents and 25 stakeholders including Greater Manchester Police, North Manchester Primary Care Trust and Eastlands Homes.

Key findings in the report include:

More than 2,800 housing association properties have been improved, leading to significant reductions in vacancy and turnover rates.

More and improved open spaces and community facilities including centres such as the Roundhouse, The Grange and Sporting Edge.

Crime levels have reduced with burglary rates down by 40 per cent.

Unemployment rates have decreased with residents claiming out of work benefits dropping by 25 per cent.

Educational attainment has improved with the number of young people gaining 5 A*-C GCSE passes doubling.

In 1999, the report said that only 25 per cent of residents felt closely involved in the local community; by 2008, 53 per cent said they felt part of it. In the same year, 40 per cent had plans to move from their present home, which dropped to 24 per cent by 2008.

In 1999, only 19 per cent of residents felt the area was getting better which increased to almost half by 2008. In addition, only 11 per cent of residents felt the area was getting safer in 1999 and this had increased to more than a third in 2008.

Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester, said: “We asked for an open and honest assessment so we can use the results to shape how we take forward the regeneration of the area in the future, and we’re pleased with the outcome of this report.

“Our holistic approach to regeneration in this part of the city has clearly delivered the transformation we desired. We’ve found that 67 per cent of residents are now satisfied with the area and want to remain here which speaks volumes.

“From the outset we adopted an integrated partnership approach to tackle multiple deprivation and it’s great that this has been recognised nationally as an example of good practice in community-led regeneration. As part of NEM’s role we will continue to narrow further the socio-economic disparities which still persist.”

Councillor Jim Battle, deputy leader of Manchester City Council said: “We’re pleased with the findings of the report. The Beacons Programme has made an essential and lasting contribution to improving the East Manchester area.

“The combined effect of the changes means we have reversed a downward spiral and made the area more sustainable, bringing enormous benefits to local people now and in the future. We recognise there is still a great deal that needs to be done but the work undertaken over the past decade has given us solid foundations which we must now build on.”

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Little BritainAugust 23rd 2010.

There it is again, that word: 'sustainable'. Surely you mean 'energy bill conscious', which is what it is!

Christopher BryanAugust 23rd 2010.

I think by 'sustainable' he is more talking about an area that isn't going to be in the same state it was 10 years ago.

Essentially a sustainable area is one that people want to live in. Improving education provision, housing, job opportunities etc.

DarrenAugust 23rd 2010.

As my father once said, no matter what you to do the area, you just cant polish a turd.

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