The Coalfields Regeneration Trust

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Coalfields Regeneration Trust's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.coalfields-regen.org.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | THE COALFIELDS REGENERATION TRUST
Chief Executive Gary Ellis
Property development at
Ollerton, Centric
Dedicated to supporting former mining towns and villages
throughout the UK, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust
was founded in 1999. These communities cover a
population of approximately 5.7 million people, and CEO Gary
Ellis says that many of them have struggled to recover since
the closure of the deep coal mining industry in the UK. Gary
explains that many of these communities are among the top 30
per cent of deprived areas in the UK, and without support they
will struggle to return to their former economic prosperity.
The establishment of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in 1999 was a direct
response from the then deputy prime minister who recognised the need for an
independent organisation that would be solely dedicated to the regeneration of
former mining communities. We are based in the Dearne Valley in the heart of the
South Yorkshire coalfields and operate across England, Scotland and Wales.
Persistent disadvantage
A generation on from the loss of a quarter of a million jobs in the UK coal industry,
statistics for the former mining communities of England, Scotland and Wales
expose ongoing weaknesses in the local economy, extensive social and economic
disadvantage and widespread ill health extending far beyond those who worked in
the industry.
The UK’s coalfields have a combined population of 5.7 million – roughly the same
as a typical English region and more than the whole of either Scotland or Wales.
FACTS ABOUT
THE COALFIELDS REGENERATION
TRUST
»Chief Executive: Gary Ellis
»Established in 1999
»Based in Barnsley
»Services: Support and
development of coalfield areas
across the UK
»No. of employees: 40
»@CoalfieldsRegen
The Coalfields
Regeneration Trust
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | THE COALFIELDS REGENERATION TRUST
Chief Executive Gary Ellis
Property development at
Ollerton, Centric
Dedicated to supporting former mining towns and villages
throughout the UK, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust
was founded in 1999. These communities cover a
population of approximately 5.7 million people, and CEO Gary
Ellis says that many of them have struggled to recover since
the closure of the deep coal mining industry in the UK. Gary
explains that many of these communities are among the top 30
per cent of deprived areas in the UK, and without support they
will struggle to return to their former economic prosperity.
The establishment of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in 1999 was a direct
response from the then deputy prime minister who recognised the need for an
independent organisation that would be solely dedicated to the regeneration of
former mining communities. We are based in the Dearne Valley in the heart of the
South Yorkshire coalfields and operate across England, Scotland and Wales.
Persistent disadvantage
A generation on from the loss of a quarter of a million jobs in the UK coal industry,
statistics for the former mining communities of England, Scotland and Wales
expose ongoing weaknesses in the local economy, extensive social and economic
disadvantage and widespread ill health extending far beyond those who worked in
the industry.
The UK’s coalfields have a combined population of 5.7 million – roughly the same
as a typical English region and more than the whole of either Scotland or Wales.
FACTS ABOUT
THE COALFIELDS REGENERATION
TRUST
»Chief Executive: Gary Ellis
»Established in 1999
»Based in Barnsley
»Services: Support and
development of coalfield areas
across the UK
»No. of employees: 40
»@CoalfieldsRegen
The Coalfields
Regeneration Trust
37THE COALFIELDS REGENERATION TRUST |
COMMUNITY
If all the coalfields had been a region
in their own right, they would almost
certainly be the most deprived in
theUK.
Just as London, major conurbations
and niche communities have
appropriate policies and investment
to support their social and economic
growth, with effective interventions,
coalfield communities can also play a
key role in contributing to economic
growth and prosperity.
To realise this ambition, government
support is required.
A compelling evidence base
The State of the Coalfields 2014,
commissioned from the Centre for
Regional Economic and Social Research
at Sheffield Hallam University, made
for uncomfortable reading: 43 per cent
of our communities sat in the top 30
per cent most deprived communities
inBritain.
The State of the Coalfields 2019 report
revealed similar statistics: 42 per cent
of our communities sat in the top 30
per cent most deprived communities
in Britain – an improvement of just
one per cent in five years. This rate of
change is far too slow and is primarily
due to the scale of the challenges
thatprevail.
Among the key headlines, the report
revealed that in order to raise the
employment rate of these areas to
the level of southeast England, an
additional 170,000 residents would
have to gain employment. While the
level of jobs has increased over recent
years, the rate of this increase is only
half of what has been seen in the
main regional cities, and only a third
of the rate in London. Similarly, while
unemployment is no longer at peak
levels, coalfield communities still have
a significantly higher number of people
on out-of-work benefits as compared
to other communities.
This lack of employment, and the
low earnings made by the majority
of residents, have led to widespread
entitlement to tax credits. Beyond this,
one in 12 of the entire population of
the coalfields claim Disability Living
Allowance or its replacement, the
Personal Independence Payment.
Upcoming welfare cuts are therefore
expected to have a significant impact,
with a predicted £2.4 billion being
taken away from coalfield residents.
Before the regeneration
of the Ollerton site
If all the
coalfields had
been a region
in their own
right, they
would almost
certainly be
the most
deprived in
the UK
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
38 | THE COALFIELDS REGENERATION TRUST
Creating effective programmes
that tackle these challenges
I joined the trust 20 years ago, and
since that time our approach has
evolved to respond to changing needs.
We are more focused and deliver
activities that address our strategic
themes of employment, skills, health
and wellbeing and respond directly to
the evidenced needs.
With only 40 staff this is a challenge,
but through their dedication we
continue to provide access to grant
funding and practical support
for voluntary and community
organisations and facilitate the
production of community action plans.
Alongside this, we work to engage
young people in health and skills
activities through football and provide
individualised support and coaching to
individuals out of work to help them
into a job or to gain a qualification.
Finally,westriveto develop and
safeguard community assets and
deliver area-based initiatives, working
with local stakeholders, which bring
together a range of our activities.
Turning opportunity into
outcomes
In response to austerity and the
cessation of funding from the
government in England, we developed
a new business model, although we
do still receive direct grant support
from both the Scottish and Welsh
governments. To generate income,
we invested in property but never
sacrificed our principles to support and
invest in the coalfields.
We now build in our communities,
creating new industrial space for SMEs
and bringing jobs and opportunities.
The income that is achieved is invested
in activities that make a difference. We
welcome the funding announcements
for our towns, but we want to create
a dedicated £40 million investment
fund for the coalfields to enable us
to move more quickly to address
theproblems.
Over the next five years, this would
enable us to build 400,000 square
feet of new industrial space, creating
over 1,000 jobs for our communities
and a sustainable income to grow our
social impact work. For every £1 we
invest in our community programmes,
we can deliver a minimum of £10 in
socialvalue.
Our call to action
We have the evidence base, we have
the track record, we have partners and
support and we have ambitious but
deliverable plans. All we need is direct
funding from government, for which
there is precedent, to help us scale up
our impact and create a positive legacy
for generations to come.
43 per cent of
our
communities
sat in the top
30 per cent
most deprived
communities
in Britain
CRT 2019 Home
Internationals Tournament

www.coalfields-regen.org.uk

This article was sponsored by The Coalfields Regeneration Trust. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development