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Community Development

Community Development

The community development department is responsible for a range of services and activities.  Services and activities that assist the council in providing a better way to engage with local people, communities, and agencies; and support their involvement to improve our borough and neighbourhoods.

Community development is a way of strengthening civil society by prioritising the actions of communities.  It seeks to:

  • Empower local communities
  • Strengthens the capacity of people as active citizens
  • Strengthens the capacity of agencies (public, private and non-governmental) to work in partnership with citizens

Good community development is action that helps people to recognise and develop their ability and potential and organise themselves to respond to problems and needs which they share.  It is a long-term, value-based process which targets positive social change.

The role of the community development department is fundamental in supporting and shaping how the council plans and delivers its services.

Much of our community development work is done through our community development officers, our community centres and town halls and grant programmes.

This work is partly funded by the Department for Communities’ Community Support Programme, which aims to strengthen local communities, increase participation and promote social inclusion through community groups, community activity and local advice services.

To be eligible for funding, we have to prepare a Community Support Plan that describes how we will deliver services that help to achieve these goals.

Community Support Plan 2016-2017 68.79 KB Download

We look after four main areas, based on themes outlined in our Community Support Plan, and also deliver a range of community funding opportunities.

  • Community Capacity – to build and develop skills, knowledge and experience which will assist in increasing involvement in community life
  • Community Renewal –improvements in the physical social and economic life of local people
  • Connected and Cohesive communities –communities which display positive relationships and give people a sense of belonging
  • Rural Development

More information on funding and accessing funding can be found in the Grants and Funding section.


European Accessible Sustainable Young TOWNS, is a two-year project funded by the European Programme “Europe for Citizens”.

11 towns in 10 different European countries have cooperated on the theme of multiculturalism and integration.

The project gathers together 11 different towns from 10 different countries, all dealing with the theme of immigration, multiculturalism and integration, with different approaches.  The ultimate goal is to increase the capacity of the towns involved in dealing with the issue of integration and multiculturalism taking into account the views of communities and young people.