The Prince of Wales accompanies Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on a family visit to Burnley in Lancashire on Wednesday 16th May, as part of this year’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The town holds special significance for The Prince of Wales, who at his visit in 2008 asked 12 of The Prince’s Charities to work in partnership with the people of Burnley to tackle social and economic challenges and support the regeneration of the Weaver’s Triangle.
Three years later, an independent evaluation by the Cass Business School said: “No other group of charities could have played the same role or achieved as much as The Prince’s Charities. The kudos of The Prince’s personal involvement and the prestige of the Charities ensured a greater buy-in from stakeholders.”
The Prince of Wales recognised that the model could be replicated in other parts of the UK and in October 2011, he announced plans to extend the initiative to a further five places – East Ayrshire, Tottenham, Redcar and Middlesbrough, Burslem and Llandovery.
His Royal Highness marks this landmark Royal visit by hosting a regeneration summit for a 120 people from all six areas. Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will meet some of those invited from schools, and local authorities, as well as business and community leaders. The Prince of Wales will then hear of the plans and progress in the six areas and discuss how The Prince’s Charities can best add value to projects in their local community.
“Following The Prince of Wales’s visits to these communities in the last 12 months he believes there is great value in sharing experience together with the aim of increasing the collaborative working between the public, private and voluntary sector. The successes in Burnley have helped to shape the future strategy for The Prince’s Charities,” “said Dame Julia Cleverdon, Special Adviser to The Prince’s Charities”.
The Rt. Honourable David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, who was with The Prince of Wales in February when His Royal Highness visited the North London borough to support regeneration efforts there in the wake of the August 2011 riots, says “The Prince’s Charities bring tremendous expertise over many years, working in very different places. On behalf of my constituents, we are hugely grateful for that.” Hosted in Victoria Mill, the summit will showcase the regeneration of The Weaver’s Triangle; described by English Heritage as ‘the hidden jewel of the UK’ and given a new lease of life thanks to the partnerships developed between the public and private sector with the support of The Prince’s Charities.
Victoria Mill itself will soon be transformed into a new University Technical College that will house more than 800 young people developing technical skills in the next few years.
Steve Rumbelow, Chief Executive of Burnley Council, said: “The UK actually doesn’t integrate the two sides of regeneration - the physical environment and the ‘people’ elements - very well. But in Burnley, The Princes Charities have really helped achieve this balance.” To see more of the work being carried out in Burnley and the other five regions supported by The Prince’s Charities, please watch this short film:
About The Prince’s Charities (Working In Places):
In 2005 and again in 2008, HRH The Prince of Wales visited Burnley. Following these visits, and at the request of His Royal Highness, 12 of The Prince’s Charities joined forces to work with the public and private sectors in Burnley, together with other members of the voluntary sectors, to tackle the entrenched social problems he had seen. HRH felt that if his charities could work with the public and private sectors in Burnley, together, then perhaps they could build a genuine partnership between the voluntary, public and private sectors in ‘places’ of social and economic need across the UK.
An independent evaluation undertaken by the Cass Business School concluded that no other organisation or group of charities could have played the same role, or achieved as much as The Prince’s Charities. In particular, the convening power of His Royal Highness ensured a greater buy-in from stakeholders, supported by project co-ordinators within The Prince’s Charities who provided a strong focus. Significant progress has been made, especially in relation to education and young people. Encouraged by the results of the work in Burnley, His Royal Highness has now asked The Prince’s Charities to work collaboratively with five further communities across the United Kingdom, all of which he has visited over the past six months: East Ayrshire, Burslem (Stoke on Trent), Tottenham, Redcar/Middlesborough and Llandovery.
The combined resources of The Prince’s Charities can perhaps be seen in its work in education where Burnley schools have benefited from Business Class (a programme led by Business in the Community), XL Clubs (Prince’s Trust), the START programme (The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts) and the Development Programmes for Heads of Department (The Prince’s Teaching Institute). Workshops hosted by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community have created focused partnerships with local stakeholders to help build sustainable communities. The heritage regeneration projects in East Ayrshire (Dumfries House), Burnley (The Weavers Triangle) and Burslem (Middleport Pottery) provide a focus for involving the resources and capabilities of other Charities, particularly The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, Business In The Community and The Prince’s School for Traditional Arts.
It is when all of The Prince’s Charities are operating in a specific place that their power to inspire others and make a difference can be most clearly seen.