Policy Exchange blasts failure of urban regeneration funding

Towns and cities should be less restricted in regeneration spending while urban policies should boost growth, a think-tank has argued.

The proposals are made in a Policy Exchange report released last week. It claims that the £30 billion spent on urban renewal in the past decade has had no real impact.

It adds that 18 major towns and cities including Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Sheffield and Southampton dropped from nine to 13 per cent behind the national average for personal income, economy and unemployment between 1997 and 2004.

But British Urban Regeneration Association chief executive Jon Ladd told Planning: "We have seen some positive effects as a result of this expenditure. Having fewer agencies would enable more focused delivery."

The RTPI pointed out that relatively new towns such as Peterborough were compared with older, larger cities with primary industries.

Head of policy and practice Rynd Smith noted: "The report does not mention Birmingham or Manchester, which changed dramatically because of urban policy. It also omits Milton Keynes, a highly successful product of the new towns initiative."


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