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Centre for Social Justice and Community Action

Imagine2 -connecting communities through research

Imagine2 – connecting communities through research is led by Professor Sarah Banks, Durham University. The research is located in three places: Benwell in Newcastle, part of North Shields and Hillfields in Coventry. These three areas were formerly part of the National Community Development Project (CDP), which was Britain’s first national area-based anti-poverty programme in the 1970s.

In each area, teams of university researchers (from Durham and Warwick Universities) and a range of community organisations have undertaken research and a programme of related activities. We have looked at the history of regeneration in each area, how local people have been involved (or not), the visions of local people, community workers, policy-makers and politicians (and how these may differ) and considered what we can learn about how local communities can be engaged in imagining and creating better futures for their areas.

This project, called Imagine2 for short, is part of a much bigger research project that is focusing on ‘civic participation’. The bigger project Imagine - connecting communities through research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) from 2012-2017. It includes colleagues in Edinburgh, Sheffield, Brighton, Huddersfield and beyond, who are all exploring different aspects.More details of the Imagine project as a whole can be found on the project website and you can follow the project on Twitter @imagine_connect

Imagine2 has an historical focus, in that we are looking back to the CDPs, as well as looking forward to the future.

More detailed information about Imagine2 can be downloaded here.

Imagine2 Launch Event

The Imagine2 research project held a launch event on Thursday 3rd April 2014 at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Launch Report can be downloaded here.

Imagine North East Exhibition Launch

On Saturday 27th June 2015, there was the launch of the Imagine North East Exhibition at St James' Church, Benwell, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Read more about the event and see photos taken on the day here

Imagining Benwell Workshop and Exhibition

On Thursday 21st January 2016, there was the Imagining Benwell Workshop and Exhibition at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Read the Imagining Benwell Workshop Report here and watch the Imagining Benwell film here

Imagining North Shields Workshop and Exhibition

On Wednesday 13th April 2016, there was the Imagining North Shields Workshop and Exhibition at The Meadows, North Shields. Read the Imagining North Shields Workshop report here

Imagine2 Briefing

This one page briefing summarises key issues arising from Imagine North East and Coventry and can be found here

Imagine North East Films

Some community partners created films as part of their Imagine North East project. Watch the films here

Imagine North East Booklets

In June 2015 we published two booklets and these are now available as PDF's by following the links here:

Imagining Benwell: Past, Present and Future

Imagining North Shields: Past, Present and Future

Imagine North East Blog and Timelines

There is a blog and timelines of key events in Benwell and N. Shields,

The Coventry blog and timeline can be found at

Imagine Impact and Knowledge Exchange Event with DCLG 2016

On the 9th March 2016, members of the Imagine project team met policy makers from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) at the NCVO offices in London. Read the report here

Imagine North East Final Reports 2016-17

Re-examining Benwell Community Development Project and its legacy, a report by Andrea Armstrong, Sarah Banks and Gary Craig - Download the report here.

Re-examining North Tyneside Community Development Project and its legacy, a report by Andrea Armstrong and Sarah Banks. Download the report here.

Benwell forty years on: Policy and change after the Community Development Project, a report by Fred Robinson and Alan Townsend. Download the report here.

North Shields forty years on: Policy and change after the Community Development Project, a report by Fred Robinson and Alan Townsend. Download the report here.

Some reflections on North Tyneside CDP and specifically its work on industry and employment, by Bob Davis. Download the report here.

The Trade Union Studies Information Unit (TUSIU), by Keith Hodgson. Download the report here.

Imagine Census/Statistics: Benwell, North Tyneside and Hillfields (Coventry)

From industrial to post-industrial – changes in Greater Tyneside and Greater Coventry between 1981 and 2011 by David Byrne. Download the report here.

Documenting the extraction of small area census data for the three CDPs (Benwell, North Tyneside and Coventry), by Alan Townsend. Download the report here.

CDP areas, summary census results, 1971, 1991, 2011 (Alan Townsend). Download here.

CDP areas, summary households (Alan Townsend). Download here.

SAS Tables

SAS Table 5 Economic activity. Download here.

SAS Table 7 Age, sex structure. Download here.

SAS Table 15 Households and cars. Download here.

SAS Table 16 and 17 Occupation of Dwellings. Download here.

SAS Table 19 Tenure of Households. Download here.

SAS Table 23 Socio-economic groups. Download here.


Professor Sarah Banks (Principal Investigator),

Dr Andrea Armstrong (Researcher, North East)

Professor Mick Carpenter (Lead for Coventry Research)

Ben Kyneswood (Researcher, Coventry)

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