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Enterprising Communities

Unlocking Potential in South-East Birmingham

The EnterprisingCommunities: Unlocking Potential programme of actions is a comprehensive community-led regeneration scheme, which has been developed to enhance and promote the economic and social fabric of some of the most disadvantaged communities in Birmingham. This includes a comprehensive funding package to help combat deprivation in the target areas. Funding from the European Programme under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective has been secured. These will be combined with other funding streams and activities, in order to maximise impact.

The programme targets areas of economic deprivation contained within the boundaries of the extended Saltley and Small Heath Regeneration Area and the Sparkbrook and Sparkhill Regeneration Area, detailed in the map at the bottom of the page. These neighbourhoods have long suffered from significant socio-economic disadvantage, much of which is well documented.
If you are interested in the regeneration of your area and would like to be a Board Member of Saltley and Small Heath Area Regeneration Board or Sparkbrook and Sparkhill Area Regeneration Board then go to Board Member Opportunities.

Key aims and objectives

The Enterprising Communities Programme seeks to assist local economic and social development by improving the socio-economic position of disadvantaged communities across the target area. The main thrust of the programme is to reduce the economic differential between the Enterprising Communities area and the rest of the city.
This will be done by focusing in particular on increasing the skills and capacity of people in the area, so that they are better able to access employment opportunities; attracting new investment and strengthening local centres; diversifying and improving the business space in the area; and by developing and supporting local social enterprises.
The programme will achieve this aim by:
  • promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship,
  • building community capacity, skills and training and access to employment opportunities especially within growing and emerging sectors, which will experience increasing employment potential through ongoing regeneration both within and outside the target area,
  • delivering economic change to complement the physical and infrastructural change brought about about through previous and ongoing regeneration initiatives.

Forward Strategy

To ensure that the Enterprising Communities Programme has lasting impact on the economic and social well-being of the area, a Forward Strategy has been devised, linked to extensive consultation with local communities. The Forward Strategy has three distinct strands:

  • During the life of the programme
    Most projects seeking funding as part of the programme will have to demonstrate that they are sustainable beyond the life of the programme. Projects will also have to demonstrate that they are building community capacity. Projects aiming to develop community assets will need to link with revenue streams that should provide opportunities for economic development of the area. Supported projects will need to dovetail their activities with the priorities of other regeneration schemes in the area.
  • On completion of the programme
    Some specific projects will cease upon completion of the programme, but capacity building projects will need to show that excluded local communities will continue to develop. Where projects have shown innovative methods in delivery they may be absorbed into mainstream service provision. This will need to be evidenced.
  • Beyond the life of the programme
    It is envisaged that a key effect of the Programme, and one of its critical success factors, will be to enable local communities and organisations to take advantage of the wider economic regeneration within the city and the West Midlands, despite the termination of specific funding provided through the programme.


The Enterprising Communities Programme represents a major opportunity for the regeneration drive across South East Birmingham to be maintained and further accelerated. The programme will enable disadvantaged communities of South East Birmingham to improve their collective economic and social life chances.

The Programme will enable these communities to have a greater say in how their area is developed, both economically and socially, and to ensure that the economic and social benefits accruing in Birmingham overall, and to the wider region, from current and future investment, have a significant impact on their lives.


Aftab Ahmed (Senior Service Manager - Regeneration) -aftab.ahmed@birmingham.gov.uk