Maximising the impact of town centre revitalisation will involve a council working with partners in ways that both add value and overcome the complexities involved. COVID-19 recovery planning provides the opportunity to build on new relationship formed in the initial crisis stage.
Clarifying roles and responsibilities
It is important to be very clear about the respective roles and responsibilities of partner organisations and individuals including ongoing involvement from council staff across departments. Broadly the roles required include:
- Leadership and coordination: facilitation; secretariat, reporting and coordination; strategic connections and influence; financial management; fundraising; communications and marketing including digital; and community engagement.
- Project development and delivery: suitable delivery experience; necessary technical expertise; project management skills; suitable development and delivery experience; and maintenance support identified.
- Support from third parties: local authority; private sector; peer-to-peer and parallel projects; learning networks; landowners; strategic authorities; funders.
Assessing skills and capacity
It is important for a partnership to actively consider and review if it has the right blend of skills and experience to match its function and address local needs. This should be done with an understanding of the limits on the levels of council support, individuals’ time constraints as volunteers and budgetary pressures. The required skills and knowledge will also vary as the partnership evolves and different projects progress.
The IPM Recovery Framework places an emphasis on local team building. This begins with mapping collective capacity and encouraging reflexive forms of governance & coordinated leadership. It advocates that recovery will depend on building local capacity for action & coordinating new relationships that developed during the crisis. Partnership development can follow tried-and-tested approaches with the addition of online engagement tools and the inclusion of COVID-19 recovery planning as a cross-partnership theme for the immediate future.