As fully regenerating a town will need to take place over a number of years, a local regeneration partnership or “Town Team” will need to be established to provide continuity.
Every place will be able to identify some key people / organisations who could be involved either as core members of an active Town Team or as part of a connected group of “wider partners” that acts as a sounding board for emerging project ideas. Volunteers can also come forward via the public surveys and other contacts, and each Town Team will need people who can help cover a number of functions, such as:
- Establishing local contacts, who can link in turn to groups and community networks in the town
- Providing a venue or platform for meetings
- Chairing meetings
- Administering to the Town Team, including taking and circulating notes of meetings
- Bringing all the ideas together into a coherent vision
- Raising funds
- Holding funds and managing money securely
- Managing social media and other publicity
- Engaging technical expertise
There is an advantage in setting up a Town Team as a legal entity. Some funding is available through public sector bodies, but more is generally available to community-based groups. A legal entity with community membership not only fills the fundraising and community involvement roles neatly and provides a corporate body that can manage funding and deliver projects, but also provides a constitution for a Town Team that can be another element in keeping the regeneration programme going over time. There are several constitutions to choose from, such as a Company Limited by Guarantee, a Community Benefit Society, or a Community Interest Company, all of which have their plusses and minuses.
For longer-term sustainability, a Town Team could work together on a shared community enterprise, a money-making venture to employ continuous Town Team support staff.