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  • Aba Amihyia

Kickstarting Social Infrastructure Programme

Here at Neighbourly Lab, our main focus is on how to enable local places to develop more good Social Infrastructure. 

We want to enable local leaders (in Councils, local businesses and voluntary, community and faith organisations) to know how to form partnerships to plan, develop and measure Social Infrastructure that’s inclusive, welcoming, which gets people mixing, feeling a strong sense of belonging and to put local voices and needs at the heart of what they do for the long-term. This, is Kickstarting Social Infrastructure.    

Here’s a short video we made to introduce this Programme for our partners.


The need for this programme is acute as Social Infrastructure is the basis for stronger, more connected and resilient communities. Without these inclusive welcoming spaces for people to mix and meet, communities will hollow out, loneliness will increase and division can take root. Much more of this long-term Social Infrastructure is needed across the country, especially in places that are of lower-income or experience multiple deprivation.   

 As David Knott (the CEO of the National Lottery Community Fund, who’ve funded our work) promises:

“We’ll support communities to come together by creating accessible, welcoming places, both physical and virtual, for people to meet connections with friends, neighbours and people with shared interests and experiences are key to fulfilled, happy lives. These are the connections binding communities together.    But not all communities are set up to help people come together. Increasingly, many people feel disconnected or isolated.“

Matt Leach, the head of Local Trust, who have done so much to establish the economic value of Social Infrastructure explains: 

“Social Infrastructure replenishes the stocks of social capital necessary for connected, capable and cohesive communities, contributes directly to local economic growth and development, and makes residents proud of their area and its local identity once more. Social Infrastructure investment is needed now to start to level up these communities – to make the ground fertile for the local economic growth that they need and deserve, building resilience and resourcefulness from the roots up.”

Neighbourly Lab is working in partnership with 6 different parts of England (Northumberland, Calderdale, Waltham Forest, Somerset, Birmingham and Newham) to explore what’s needed and to pilot models for partnerships, evidence and inspiration.   

Please join us on this exciting journey and get in touch to find out more!

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