‘Smart Successful Scotland’ refreshed
This is from the refreshed ‘Smart Successful Scotland’ document published by The Scottish Executive in November 2004
Regeneration happens when an area affected by, for example, industrial decline, dereliction, poor housing and limited economic activity is transformed for the better in a sustainable manner. Many elements contribute to this, including, but not limited to, physical infrastructure investment, increased business activity and employment, improved housing and stronger communities.
Regeneration can drive growth by allowing areas to realise their economic potential through greater business activity, increased employment rates, higher incomes and reduced unemployment. The public sector may need to intervene to stimulate private sector investment and secure regeneration. A co-ordinated approach is needed across a range of interventions to ensure:
• provision of appropriate infrastructure and development of commercial and
• improved skills and employability
• better neighbourhoods
• investment in community development
• good quality public services
Successful regeneration projects are characterised by clear leadership, strong partnerships, robust delivery mechanisms and effective community involvement. The Networks will have a leading role in large scale projects and will play an important supporting role in smaller community regeneration projects alongside Communities Scotland. In order to ensure clarity in their respective roles, a memorandum of understanding between the organisations will be developed. The Networks’ contribution will vary depending on the project but may include: development of the overall regeneration strategy; setting up delivery vehicles; remediation of vacant and derelict land; provision of industrial and commercial property; skills development, including access to employment opportunities, and place marketing.
Particularly in more sparsely populated or disadvantaged communities, the economic development process needs to embrace capacity building within communities, enabling people to realise the conditions that will foster growth.
In the Scottish Enterprise area, Communities Scotland has the lead role in community capacity building.
In the Highlands and Islands, Communities Scotland works alongside HIE on capacity building. HIE, which has a wider remit than Scottish Enterprise in this aspect, also pursues various other priorities under its strengthening communities role including:
• investment in community assets such as land ownership, infrastructure, energy and services 26
• development of community strengths, leadership and confidence
• enhancement of the quality of environment, Gaelic and arts development
In addressing these priorities, HIE benefits from its long term experience and its dispersed network with staff based right across its area. In recognition of this, HIE and Communities Scotland are developing a framework agreement which avoids duplication of effort and uses the skills of each organisation to best advantage.
Communities in some rural parts of the SEn area face similar issues to those in the HIE area. SEn and Communities Scotland will be expected to learn from experience in the Highlands and Islands when working to strengthen these communities.
Closing the opportunity gap
The objective is for a smart, successful Scotland to be achieved while contributing to closing the opportunity gap. While the Enterprise Networks must focus on economic growth, they will do so in a way that supports closing the opportunity gap. Initiatives without a primary economic rationale will be for other partners to lead but the Enterprise Networks may be able to offer views and advice as part of partnership working.
Closing the gap in economic opportunities
The Executive is committed to closing the opportunity gap for the most disadvantaged communities in Scotland. Economic growth and tackling poverty and disadvantage go hand in hand. If worklessness and poverty are not properly tackled, they will act as a brake on economic growth and the potential contribution to the economy of those currently inactive will remain untapped. As Scotland’s population declines and ages, it will be increasingly important for all who can to contribute to the nation’s economic prosperity. The Enterprise Networks’ contribution will be informed by the Executive’s closing the opportunity gap objectives and targets and the proposed employability framework.
Source: Scottish Executive.