Phase 2 of the Hull Community Development Programme commenced in March 2016 and builds on the strong foundation created by the 21 projects in the initial phase. Whilst those projects may have welcomed the stability created by a continuation of funding it was thought it could create a cycle of dependency.
This Phase involves 9 projects of which 3 are brand new. There has been a tightening of focus on encouraging enterprise, which for the existing projects was a natural evolution to the challenges of the present funding environment, however, all Rank Foundation projects are being increasingly encouraged to adopt a more entrepreneurial approach to achieving resilience, which in turn can assist their sustainability.
Building on the strong foundation, all projects are brought together through steering groups, this conduit increases knowledge, collaboration and partnerships within the city and further afield. In addition, all organisations involved in the HCDP have access to on-going high-quality support, through bursaries, training and themed conferences.
The entire 6-year programme aligns with Hull being the 2017 UK City of Culture, which has been described as a ‘once in a generation opportunity to transform the city’. The optimism this has created and its planned residual benefits will add to those legacy benefits of both Phases.
What we have learnt is that a long-term involvement is a necessity, productive stakeholder relationships are critical and that greater benefits are achieved if the funders are flexible to local needs.