Economic and societal impacts

The project has already achieved significant impacts (the following are examples only, and draw directly on evidence provided by stakeholders to the project team).

  • North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit (NNJPU) stated that “data from the project informed the evidence base of the Core Strategy” (a major, medium-term regional development strategy) on which the project team was later directly consulted (September 2012).
  • In August 2012, the project team was invited to consult the Department for Communities and Local Government on the UK Government’s emergent large-scale housing strategy (August 2012), leading to ongoing knowledge exchange (e.g. briefing paper, November 2012).
  • Each community workshop was attended by over 40 young people, adult residents and local practitioners. In one community, the Village Association Chair stated that the project had challenged adults’ perceptions of young people and their capabilities: “it gives you more confidence to […] talk to children […] if you think in terms of the longer term benefits of this work, it would be that it facilitates that meaningful dialogue and action”.
  • A workshop for twenty-five policy-makers from around England (September 2012) was highly successful, leading to a briefing paper that has been sent to local and national policy-makers.
  • The project supported the establishment in 2011 of a youth group in one community, co-organised by children and adults, and regularly attended by over 50 young people.
  • Many young people involved in the research have cited positive benefits of being involved in the research itself, both in terms of knowledge (e.g. about sustainable design) and positive emotions/well-being associated with taking part (reported in Hadfield-Hill and Horton, 2013)
  • Eight children provided written testimonials about how co-organising the community workshops had helped them learn a variety of skills – from taking part in community decision-making processes to working as a team.
  • The project provided an evidence base for community applications for funding – in two communities, for play equipment for older children. In one community, the Village Association Chair stated that “we were able to use the quantitative evidence […] from NUNC to strengthen the bid […for] older children’s play equipment” (total grant £49,000).