Partnership schemes involve councils and businesses trying to improve a local urban area. These schemes mainly try to improve the economy, but also aim to improve social aspects and the environment, e.g. by building community centres.
In the UK, partnership schemes such as City Challenge have proved particularly successful over the years in regenerating urban areas, operating in the 1990s. 31 City Challenge schemes took place between 1992 and 1998. The government gave around £1 billion, with a further £7 billion being invested locally. They aimed to improve the local area's economy and quality of life.
Problems in Hulme, Manchester
Since the 19th cenury, Hulme had had a problem with overcrowding. Many lived in social housing as a result, and it was often poorly built. The area had been cleared for redevelopment in the 1960s.
New tower blocks and buildings were dirty, cold and isolating areas, with many residents feeling depressed compared to their old communities. By the 1990s, many families had moved out of Hulme due to the sheer unpleasantness of such apartments; crime and unemployment abounded.
Regenerating Hulme, Manchester
In 1992, the Hulme City Challenge Partnership began regenerating the area. Manchester City Council worked with private companies to design a £37.5 million regeneration package, aiming to create a strong community feel by building a mixture of houses, businesses, shops and community spaces, improving transport links to connect Hulme to the city centre and surrounding communities.
It attempted to combat the problems mentioned on the last slide in many ways:
- Tower blocks were demolished and a variety of new houses were built. A mixture of council-owned and private residences to provide for existing residents and to encourage outside buyers.
- The main shopping area was refurbished.
- The Zion Centre was created, an arts venue and community centre.
- A business park was built at Birley Field to encourage private investment in the area.
- Hulme Park was created to provide a safe, open, green area for locals.
Effects of the Regeneration
The Hulme City Challenge Partnership has been successful in some ways:
- It has made Hulme an attractive place to live. Its population grew by an estimated 3.2% between 1992 and 2002, compared to the 0.2% in the rest of the city.
- From 1997 to 2002, Hulme and neighbouring area Moss Side received £400 million of investment.
- Jobs were created in new industries and services that had moved to the area.
- Unemployment fell from 32% to 6% in 20 years.
However, not all of Hulme's problems have been solved:
- The rising house prices are classic of gentrification; they have alienated the locals who can no longer afford to live there.
- Unemployment is still high compared to the rest of Manchester.
- Many still live in social housing (around 47.5%) and Hulme is still considered a poor area.