Rebalancing the Outer Estates
Graham has also recently launched a new project, titled Rebalancing the Outer Estates.
One of the most intractable problems in the UK is the future of the traditional, working class outer estates. Nottingham North, is typical of those ex-manufacturing areas (Raleigh bicycles, mining and textiles have all gone elsewhere) with high levels of unemployment, low educational attainment and social deprivation. Some of many revealing statistics are that Nottingham North sends the fewest number of young people to university of any constituency in the UK, and have double the average number both of single parent households and free school meals.
There are many constituencies around the country with similar problems to some degree or other, they are often massively overbalanced with former Council housing estates and may have little in the way of local reskilling capability or spare land to develop employment.
Setting up Rebalancing
Graham has hosted a series of Conferences in the constituency across the year, including one in June 2014 which was attended by Business Secretary Vince Cable, localism expert Lord Heseltine and Labour MP John Cruddas. As a result of the Conference, Graham and his team were able to put forward a proposal to the Local Enterprise Partnership, bidding for funding from the Regional Growth Fund to set up a “Rebalancing” organisation, which would specifically work on the aims of the project. In July 2014 it was announced that the project has received the funding to go ahead.
Aims of the Rebalancing Project
- More jobs in and around North Nottingham, to re-create a culture where work is the norm
- For these jobs to be accessible to local residents, and which lead to improved life opportunities,
- To improve education, skills and training for local residents, - to ensure future developments create a mix of employment and mixed tenure housing opportunities
- To support local communities to make North Nottingham a great place to live.
We are working up other work streams on housing, health and community.
The project also plans to put a full time careers adviser back into every secondary school in Nottingham North. Their job will be to give training, skills and work advice to our kids, with a focus on the 14-17 age group.
In addition, after a long and hard-fought campaign to save it from closing, a new £26 million rebuild of Basford Hall is underway. This is a great investment into Nottingham North and help to give our young people a kick start to their careers and offer them a brighter future.
Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation
Rebalancing has now been up and running for a year. You can find their website here: http://rebalancingouterestates.com/index.html
To find out more about the Foundation's achievements in its first year you can read the Rebalancing the Outer Estates annual report here: