Good regeneration is also created from a long term vision with a plan that takes into account functions of local neighbourhoods and integrates them with wider economic strategies. A regeneration strategy to succeed should be able to link worklessness and training opportunities to deliver sustainable employment to local residents, as well as physical regeneration of the environment.
It is useful to consider Ferguslie Park, a small housing estate in Paisley built as a series of projects between 1926 and 1966, that reached at its peak 3,500 dwellings with a population of 13,500. By the end of the 1960s, Ferguslie Park’s fortunes went into reverse. This was mirrored by a matched decline of the areas mains employers such as textiles, ship building and car manufacturers. Ferguslie Park was also socially isolated, a factor reinforced in public housing allocation policies which had the result of concentrating the poorest families within the local community. By 1988, local population had decreased to 5,600, 39% of households composed of single parents and unemployment exceeded 30%. (Scotland.gov.uk 1998)
Previous attempts at regeneration in Ferguslie Park had tried but never succeeded. In 1988, Ferguslie Park was included in the launch of the New Life for Urban Scotland programme. A 10 year strategy was established for regeneration developed in collaboration with local residents that set out a plan for how the community would improve in physical, social and economic terms. Since the 1930s Tenants Associations had been active in the area showing the local community were keen to be involved in changes to their local area. Since then the Ferguslie Park Community Forum had commenced in 1993, which consisted of an 18 person Executive Committee. (Scotland.gov.uk 1998).
Although branded the most deprived area in Scotland, life in Ferguslie Park for many residents is very different to the image it has been tarnished with. The estate has had to tackle negative public perceptions caused by a history of reporting high unemployment and drug misuse. In reality it can be reported that £80 million had been used in the area since it was declared as a key regeneration site under the New Life for Urban Scotland in the 1980’s leading to the creation of The Tannahill Centre, a sports centre and better transport links, with the motorway and railway line not far away. Also, more than 20 years of regeneration has resulted in new built homes replacing slum tenements. However, these facts were undermined by a high –profile deprivation study which was based on out-of date statistics. (Eveningtimes.co.uk 2012).
Local residents are largely happy with the change to housing and one stated “When I was growing up here I never thought I would raise my own kids here because the place was an absolute wreck. There has been a lot of money spent on new housing and there are good community facilities” (Eveningtimes.co.uk 2012).
In 2012, also Robert Craig, Executive said “We started as a...