Digbeth – a possible focus for Community Led Local Delivery

The European Union Structural Fund guidance from the commission and BIS outlines the use of Community Led Local Development (CLLD) as a method of addressing challenges identified within a specific geographic community.

Developed in rural areas as the LEADER programme, its use has now been widened to include Urban areas.

This proposal explores the possibility of promoting the Social Enterprise Network within Digbeth, Cheapside and Highgate as a CLLD.

Digbeth, Cheapside and Highgate contain a large number of Social Enterprises as well as some of the most deprived communities within the Greater Birmingham LEP.

The population of the area is about 10 -12,000

Developing a Local Action Group (LAG) within this area will build on, and develop, a number of current initiatives. The Social Enterprise Network, a vibrant residents association that is already engaged in community action and economic development activity, as well as venues that address social inclusion issues for residents, including young people, within the area, will enhance the LAG’s ability to deliver and develop socially innovative and inclusive responses to issues that can be replicated across the area.

Social Enterprises, Private and Public Sector as well as community groups already co-exist within the area, with an economic interdependence that is unprecedented in Birmingham. Developing a CLLD within this area will enable the vibrant economic activity and relationship to become more productive and dynamic.

Developing a LAG’s Local Development strategy to address the following;

Challenges to be addressed – Youth and enterprise, Low skills and lack of entrepreneurship within the area, social innovation activity to challenge social and employment exclusion.

Target groups to be supported – Young people, long term low skilled individuals and business start ups; social enterprises.

Thematic objectives likely to be covered TBC
European Social Fund can be used to develop a skills agenda and programme.
European Regional Development Fund can be utilised for business support and potential asset transfer activity.

Links to other initiatives
Neighbourhood Budgeting and management; Birmingham City Council

· Social Enterprise Network (Hub) covers all SE and VCS organisations
· Digbeth Residents Association
· Highgate Residents Association
· City and South Birmingham College
· Cultural Organisations (Friction Arts)
· Business Representatives (Custard Factory, National Express)