We worked with Cobalt Housing to develop a regeneration approach for the Stonedale Crescent estate in Liverpool. This involved engaging local stakeholders, public services, community groups and elected members in the regeneration of the estate, and making a case for change so that we could maximise the opportunity and generate funding to complete the development work.
Engaging the community
We took an Asset Based Community Development to the project, which was a very new way of working for Cobalt Housing. The community were invited to various engagement events, including participatory mapping where we captured routes to retail, community assets, social networks and cultural assets.
Blue Chula then encouraged Cobalt Housing to bring the Cass Foundation into the project, as they had done some excellent creative engagement work with the same community to make improvements to the local green infrastructure. We worked together with the Cass Foundation to develop an approach to engaging the community in various activities, which generated real energy and positivity around the estate and focused as much on what people could do right then as what the estate could be like in the future.
Case for funding
We also developed a case for funding using a report developed by the DCLG Estate Regeneration team, which utilised health and social care, crime and employment data to demonstrate the cost to the public purse of doing nothing, vs the financial and social benefits of developing a regeneration approach which addressed key issues such as poor health, low aspiration, crime and ASB. Costs of doing nothing were estimated at £6.4 million a year, equivalent to around £13,000 per resident. This case was used to facilitate conversations with the council and local CCG, with the aim of providing better social infrastructure on and around the estate.
We encouraged Cobalt Housing to involve residents in all stages of the project. We held a number of workshops to find out what residents liked about the estate, what they felt could be improved and what they thought they could do to make the estate a better place to live. A number of residents showed an interest in becoming more involved in the management of the project, and became part of the project team. They were involved in the procurement process to choose a masterplanner, and in the regular steering group meetings which advised the Cobalt board on the direction of the project.