Community Development and Regeneration
Community Regeneration - the successful OUTCOME of many processes which seek to redress the unequal balance of opportunities and life-chances experienced by people living in communities with high rates of multiple deprivation
Community Development - the facilitated PROCESS of local people working jointly with key agencies to identify and tackle the issues that give rise to the inequalities that result from multiple deprivation
Community Regeneration is not a new concept to the Council: The Council has been committed to prioritising its resources to reduce deprivation, social exclusion and inequalities within Wrexham since its inception. Since 1996 the Council has built upon the existing regeneration work within Caia Park, and has steadily extended activities into other communities since then – to Cefn Mawr and its neighbouring communities during 1996, Brynteg and Southsea in 1998, and to the wider communities of west Wrexham and Wrexham’s rural communities in 2001. That year also saw the Council support the introduction of the Communities First programme, and this expanded in 2007 to include the community of Hightown. Finally Wrexham County Borough Council’s Community Regeneration Strategy 2009-2012 saw support introduced to communities in Acton, Grosvenor, Pant, Penycae, Chirk, Johnstown, Ponciau and Ruabon.
The Communities First Programme was a ten year programme launched in 2001 and founded on the principle that poverty and disadvantage are created by many factors such as poor housing and environments, educational achievement, job markets, benefits systems, alcohol and substance misuse and stigma or perceptions about people and places etc. Communities Firsr provided opportunities for people living in areas considered to be disadvantaged, along with the organisations and agencies that deliver services in those communities to examine poverty and work together to address it.
The programme encouraged local people to challenge barriers that prevented residents from fulfilling their potential and making positive changes to their community. It also supported communities to have a voice and use their skills and experience to change, challenge, negotiate, persuade and jointly plan for the benefit of their community.
Following a consultation period in 2011 the Communities First Programme is currently being realigned to build on the achievements over the last ten years and preserve the best of the original programme.
Communities First Development teams funded by the Welsh Government will work with residents, community groups , businesses and other key agencies in these areas called Clusters, and will focus on actions leading to the long term sustainability and wellbeing of communities. The programme aims to contribute to narrowing the education and skills, economic and health gaps between the most deprived and affluent areas. Communities First has three strategic objectives to assist in achieving its aims:
- Prosperous Communities
- Learning Communities
- Healthier Communities
In Wrexham there are two Communities First Clusters currently being developed, Caia Park and Hightown and the Urban Villages Cluster.
Community Regeneration Strategy
The Community Regeneration Policy was developed and implemented to set out the Council’s intentions to continue supporting the regeneration of existing target communities in Wrexham through the Communities First Programme and Rural Regeneration Programmes; and to expand community development and regeneration activity into a wider range of communities between 2009 and 2012.
The communities identified for targeted community regeneration support within the strategy were prioritised due to their ranking within the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD 2008). Wrexham’s Community Regeneration Strategy directed support to those communities in Wrexham that were ranked within the most deprived 30% in Wales.
The Strategy is due to be updated for 2013-2015 and will be developed to coincide with the changes to the Communities First Programme and the new areas included.
Northern Marches Cymru is an unincorporated association and has been recognised by Wrexham County Borough Council as the delivery body for rural regeneration programmes in rural Wrexham since 2001.
Its long term aim is to improve the quality of life of local people by providing economic opportunities, encouraging community engagement and decision making and improving the quality and diversity of the built and natural environment.
This aim is currently being met through the delivery of 12 wide-ranging regeneration projects as part of the Business Plan 2 of the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013.
The current programme runs until December 2013 and brings with it £3.7m worth of funding. This is made up of £2.5m grant funding through the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) with the remainder coming from cash match funding and volunteer time from various bodies and organisations.
Small Grants Scheme
Wrexham County Borough Council’s Assets & Economic Development Department are administering a Small Grants Scheme for small community groups or potential community groups within Wrexham County Borough that fall under the Community Regeneration Strategy. We can fund projects that involve people in the local community, bringing them together and enabling them to take part in community activities.
For further information about the Small Grants Scheme and to obtain an application pack please contact us.
Adult Community Learning
Wrexham County Borough Council is part of the Wrexham Adult Community Learning Partnership, a collection of organisations with one aim – to deliver the best possible Adult Learning across Wrexham County Borough. Funding is available to put on learning events and training courses out in the community. Anything from basic taster sessions lasting a couple of hours to fully accredited courses over several weeks can be provided free of charge. Some of the topics covered include:
- Internet/Web Design
- Committee Skills
- Art & Crafts
- First Aid
- Health & Safety
- Food Hygiene
- Family History
- Digital Photography
- Dress Making/Sewing
The training that we can provide is not limited to the above list and if something is required that is not listed above, then please just ask. We can tailor courses to suit your needs and offer day and evening courses at local community venues.