HC Deb 08 February 2001 vol 362 c645W
Caroline Flint

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps the Government are taking to improve the outcomes of and to learn from SRB and City Challenge-funded projects which have concluded or are near their conclusion. [149050]

Ms Beverley Hughes

The national evaluation of the Single Regeneration Budget rounds 1 and 2, based on 20 case studies, is due to complete in 2003–04. The evaluation has strong reporting and dissemination requirements to ensure that lessons are fed into policy and practice in a quick and open manner.

We fund the dissemination of good practice and the exchange of information to support SRB and other regeneration partnerships. In 2000–01, these included conferences, exhibition displays and seminars, and the production of complementary topic papers. We produce a quarterly colour newsletter, "Update", and make both local and electronic networking possible, the latter via Regen.net. At the regional level, the Regional Development Agencies undertake a range of activities for disseminating good practice to SRB partnerships. These include relaying key messages from scheme evaluations to partnerships at quarterly network meetings, employing dedicated best practice co-ordinators to develop networks and links between partnerships, and encouraging SRB schemes to transfer to community ownership during their lifetime.

The City Challenge programme ended in 1998 and the final evaluation was published in 2000. It identified the achievements and good practice lessons that are transferable to other urban regeneration initiatives, including the need to involve the community, to spend time getting the right projects and project mix and the importance of the calibre and experience of key individuals on the executive team and board.