Welsh-English Border Strategic Regeneration Programme
In 2008 Resources for Change were engaged by the Offa’s Dyke Partnership to develop a strategy for sustainable regeneration of the Welsh–English Border, funded by Advantage West Midlands, Welsh Assembly Government and Natural England.
The ‘Offa’s Dyke Country’ Partnership was born in 2008 from a recognised need to generate additional income to the English/Welsh border businesses and communities whilst minimising the environment impact. Partners include Advantage West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Assembly, Welsh Assembly Government, Brecon Beacons National Park, British Waterways, Capital Region Tourism, Countryside Council for Wales, local authorities along both the English and Welsh borders, associated LEADER groups, Natural England, Shropshire and Herefordshire DMPs, Tourism Partnership Mid Wales, the Wye Valley AONB, Shropshire Hills AONB, the Clwydian Ranges AONB and the University of Central Lancashire.
The Offa’s Dyke Partnership had felt for some time that the area along the border, connected by the route of Offa’s Dyke, was often forgotten, but shared many common opportunities and challenges. Its overall aim in commissioning this work was to seek to make the rural communities more sustainable, and this aspiration fitted well with the values of Resources for Change.
To develop the strategy, R4C consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, to find out what the needs were, and determine how a new strategy could add value to existing initiatives. This included:
- Interviews with all nine border local authorities, significant public and voluntary sector stakeholders;
- Running workshops at the Strategic Forum of the Cross Border Memorandum of Understanding on 2nd April 2009;
- Telephone interviews with over 40 partners and key organisations;
- 190 responses to an on-line survey;
- Workshops with businesses and community representatives in Wrexham, Ludlow and Abergavenny.
This provided robust evidence of needs and opportunities along the border, raising awareness and creating buy-in to the project. The strategy was shaped from this evidence at workshops with the Partnership and is now being moved forward.
For more information about this contract please contact Irene Evison.