Not perfect but needed

The winding up of the single regeneration budget is going to lead
to the closure of some excellent community projects promoting
social inclusion while leaving those remaining starved of cash and
relying on volunteers.

The Urban Forum says that the planned merger of funding streams
will leave the voluntary and community sector out of pocket by some

The new arrangements are bad news for a number of reasons. For one
thing, their focus will be implementing regional development
agencies’ economic strategies. But promoting social inclusion and
promoting economic growth don’t always amount to the same thing.

No one pretends that the single regeneration budget was perfect –
it never was that good at meeting the needs of ethnic and other
minority groups for example. But it did ensure that cash was
directed to many areas that really needed it. Without it the drive
to promote social inclusion could falter, leaving those in social
care with an even greater uphill struggle to combat the effects of

The government and the regional development agencies need to wake
up to these concerns and involve the voluntary and community sector
in shaping the new partnerships. They probably need to come up with
some more cash too.

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