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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Consultation opens for a new Urban Regeneration and Community Development Policy Framework

The Department for Social Development, responsible for Urban Regeneration in Northern Ireland has opened a public consultation process for a new Urban Regeneration and Community Development Policy Framework.

The Framework will determine the priorities for urban regeneration and community development policies and programmes over the coming years. These are more familiar in the shape of large projects like the Victoria Square development, Public Realm improvements in town centres and Neighbourhood Renewal activity.

The Victoria Square Comprehensive Development Scheme was initially
chosen by the Social Development Minister in July 2000, following an
assessment of four city centre sites, and officially adopted by the
Department in January 2003. Construction began in 2004 on the largest
single investment ever in Belfast and was completed in Early 2007.

Commenting on the beginning of the public consultation process Minister McCausland said:

“The wellbeing of our communities is one of my key concerns. The Urban Regeneration and Community Development Policy Framework has at its core one of my department’s strategic themes namely ‘Strengthened Communities and Vibrant Urban Areas’. I firmly believe that for Northern Ireland to truly prosper, we need to come together to tackle deprivation, strengthen the competitiveness of our towns and cities and develop connected, cohesive and engaged communities - communities that can identify their own needs and work with government and others in meeting those needs.”

The Policy Framework has been organised around four strategic policy objectives which aim to provide the foundation for addressing the underlying structural problems of urban areas and help in the creation of confident, competitive and connected communities. These objectives are supported by four enabling objectives.
Urban Regeneration and Community Development Policy Framework
Consultation Document. Department for Social Development, July 2012.

A key element is the intention to strengthen commitment to an outcomes-focused approach which will concentrate on improving the quality, quantity and sustainability of what is achieved. The Department claim this will be done by (1) placing results ahead of process; (2) drawing on a sound empirical base; (3) responding to the evidenced priority needs of the community; and (4) improving the co-ordination and integration of public services.

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The public consultation will run until Thursday 25 October 2012 and can be accessed at: http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/consultations. Hard copies and alternative formats of the consultation are also available on request from the Department for Social Development. 

For more information contact: URCDPolicy.Framework@dsdni.gov.uk or telephone 028 9082 9445.

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