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Neighbourhood initiatives in Wales and England: shifting purposes and changing scales

Madeleine Pill


This article compares two government-led ‘flagship’ area-based initiatives (ABIs) targeting deprived neighbourhoods - the New Deal for Communities, launched in England in 1998, and the Communities First programme, launched in a post-devolutionary Wales in 2001. In England, a shift in the national paradigm from ‘big state’ interventions towards the ‘big society’ agenda has heralded the decline of the ABI approach.  In Wales, the approach remains but has recently been re-launched.  Shifts in the purpose of neighbourhood governance as encapsulated in these two ABIs are considered and contrasted, using Lowndes and Sullivan’s (2008) typology of rationales as a framework. The shift in the emphasis of both ABIs from holistic, place-bound strategies to broader, service-influencing efforts points to the up-scaling of neighbourhood governance, despite the renewed policy emphasis on localism.


DOI 10.3351/ppp.0006.0002.0002