Previous research has pointed to the significance of participative spaces as locations with potential to involve communities of interest or place. The Communities in Control study identified four common spaces for participation in Big Local areas.  These were governance (partnership) spaces, resident spaces, event spaces and project spaces. 

The spaces served different purposes in terms of how they enabled resident participation in decision making, and the opportunity these provided for groups of residents to develop confidence, skills, networks needed for collective action.  Having a range of spaces also contributed to achieving a breadth of participation in the community (e.g. activities that appeal different groups and individuals) as well as more in-depth participation (e.g, being elected onto a decision making partnership).

In this video, Sue discusses how Big Local partnerships consider community participation in the programme.



Further resources

CiC research summary #4: ‘Spaces for resident participation’ in the Big Local programme CiC Summary #4 Spaces for participation final

Lewis SJ, Bambra C, Barnes A, Halliday EC, Orton L, Ponsford R, Powell K, Salway SM, Townsend A, Whitehead M, Popay J. Reframing “participation” and “inclusion” in public health policy and practice to address health inequalities: evidence from a major resident-led neighbourhood improvement initiativeHealth and Social Care in the Community (e-publication ahead of print). 2018. ​

Other topics:



⇒ How place based funding acts as a mechanism for change in resident led decision making.


⇒ Markers of collective control – how residents gain more control to influence decisions or work together to improve things in their local area.


⇒ How geographical areas are portrayed and the impact of this for residents living there.