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UK Government Community Development Handbook

The UK Government Guidance on Community Development has been updated.


  1. What a community of practice is
  2. Common mistakes or misconceptions
  3. Understanding your community’s user needs
  4. What to start with
  5. Framework: the support communities need
  6. People
  7. What a CDM / CMGR is
  8. Identifying roles within a community
  9. Community membership model
  10. Going beyond the ‘usual suspects’
  11. Programme
  12. Meetups, meetings and other in-person events
  13. Platforms


Make a Community Plan

Neighbourhood planning is a way for communities to have a say in the future of the places where they live and work. It gives you the power to produce a plan with real legal weight that directs development in your local area. It helps you:

  • choose where you want new homes, shops and offices to be built
  • have your say on what those new buildings should look like
  • grant planning permission for the new buildings you want to see go ahead

More than 500 neighbourhoods across the UK have already applied to be a neighbourhood planning area. They’re always looking for more people to get involved.

If a plan isn’t already being produced for your area, you can gather community interest and start your own. There are several sources of advice and support for communities interested in neighbourhood planning, including small grants of up to £7,000 for eligible groups.

The ‘My Community Rights’ website has support, advice and funding details.

New Conversations: LGA guide to engagement

Produced by the Local Government Association, this guide has been designed to show how councils can strengthen trust, build resilience and respond to today’s challenges through high-quality engagement, albeit with limited resources. Councillor Judy Billing, Deputy Chair, LGA Improvement and Innovation Board suggests that

“In reality, good dialogue with residents and securing mutual trust between the council and the community needs to be part of the whole council’s DNA.”


Estate Regeneration

There are a number of different approaches to delivering housing supply, many of which sit under the broad heading of community-led housing. This term is commonly used to describe homes that are developed and/or managed by local people or residents, most commonly in not-for-profit organisational structures.

This section of the estate regeneration national strategy outlines these alternatives, including co-operative housing, community land trusts, development trusts, self-help and self-build housing, community-led housing associations, mutuals and almshouses.

Resident engagement and protection

Guidance on how landlords, developers and local authorities should engage with residents throughout an estate regeneration scheme.

Role of local authorities

This section of the national strategy outlines the important place leadership role local authorities can play to support estate regeneration.

Finance and delivery

Guidance on financing and delivering estate regeneration schemes, creating strong partnerships and levering in private investment.

Good practice guide

The estate regeneration good practice guide sets out key considerations for early stage projects and a model process that leads to successful regeneration.

Better social outcomes

Government is working with estates to map patterns of public spending, with the aim of improving social outcomes.

Alternative approaches

This section of the national strategy outlines alternatives approaches to regeneration.

Partner engagement

Government has engaged with over 200 organisations to develop the Estate Regeneration National Strategy.

Case studies

Case studies highlighting good practice in estate regeneration.


The national strategy accompanies £140 million of loan funding, £30 million of enabling grant and £2 million of capacity building funding being made available to support estate regeneration. This financial support from government is directly targeted at de-risking the early stages of regeneration schemes and providing support to areas for such activities as community engagement, feasibility studies, scoping of proposals and masterplanning. There is also support available for preconstruction activities such demolition and moving residents.

More information is in the funding prospectus.

Next steps

Between now and 31 March 2017, the Government will:

  • continue to work with the Homes and Communities Agency on a regional basis to help local partners accelerate their schemes.
  • assess bids and allocate enabling funding (2016 to 2017) and project finance – the deadline for bids for enabling and capacity building grant funding is 31 January 2017
  • provide opportunities for places to support each other and work with experts on specific challenges such as finance and delivery, design quality and engagement
  • share materials to help places adopt good practice

If you would like to tell us about your scheme or have any questions about the support available, please email us:

  • Estate Regeneration National Strategy Executive Summary 
  • Resident Engagement and Protection – This section of the national strategy sets out the government’s expectations for how landlords, developers and local authorities should engage with residents throughout an estate regeneration scheme, and for how residents should be protected. Successful estate regeneration schemes need to have the support of a majority of the residents, through what can be a very uncertain time for them. Early and ongoing discussions on plans for the estate, and residents’ personal housing needs and choices, will build a relationship of trust between residents and landowners and help to develop support. A residents’ charter which defines commitments and opportunities for all tenants and leaseholders is a good way of collaborating with residents. A suggested template is included.