social enterprise, urban and economic development

Increasingly cities are perceived by policy-makers as the engines of economic recovery and their health the indicators of fair weather housing markets. Many sub-regions focus on their city core as the springboard back into economic and social recovery. Yet at the same time the legacy of the incomplete Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders and an unresolved high quality housing ‘offer’ will put a brake on recovery. In parallel, many inner-city environments have untapped resources of unemployed or part-time employed residents, interested in and able to take advantage of social enterprise initiatives. We work with partners to square these circles.


case studies


Trains, planes and automobiles 

The study was commissioned by Derby City Council, emda and the Chamber of Commerce.  Adam and Chimera worked as part of the URS Corp. team on the “Trains, Planes and Automobiles” study, examining the rail, aerospace and car industry sectors in Derby – their importance for economic vitality and growth plans (and job forecasts). This involved primary research and interviews with key partners, obtaining business perspectives and economic forecast modelling. The report was very well received by the client, partners and businesses. We delivered a presentation and workshop discussion to develop commitment by partners to tangible actions that would be driven forward. The research findings were used by local partners to lobby Government in 2011 when Bombardier missed out on the ThamesLink contract to articulate the impact on the local economy of the implications of that contractual decision.


Developing social enterprise in West London

Danny developed an assessment and recommendations on the capacity of Inquilab Housing Association to develop social enterprises that would engage their residents, both as workers and as customers. This involved an innovative approach that combined the results of a census of tenants with socio-economic profiling using ‘Acorn’ characteristics of groups of residents. The resulting report identified considerable needs, potential and capacity among residents for a range of social enterprises, which matched well with the overall community development vision and values of Inquilab. Alongside this report, a more detailed assessment of the need for and a development plan for a ‘Handyperson’ service in West London that could be run as a social enterprise was drawn up.