New report by BCT shows the positive outcomes linked with community assets

Date: 01.11.2023

BCT’s new report “Resilient Communities: Meeting the challenge of being at the margins” finds strong links between community assets and a range of positive outcomes.

As part of their research, BCT have created two new indexes: the Wales Community Assets Index, which takes into account civic assets (libraries, public parks, village halls etc), connectedness (access to public transport, digital connectivity, health services etc) and how active and engaged the community is, and the Wales Community Resilience Index, which merges the assets index with the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.

They define resilient communities as “communities that possess or have access to range of tangible and intangible assets which are used by people in the community to enhance individual and community wellbeing. These assets can be accessed by people both to enable opportunities for social and recreational activities, as well as providing vital support in adverse situations – be they sudden and unexpected or long-term and chronic in nature.”

The research identified Less Resilient Areas as the 25% of places with the lowest community infrastructure – people in these areas were found to have higher levels of unemployment and fewer local job opportunities, lower life expectancy and limiting long-term illness than across Wales as a whole, less likely to have degree-level qualifications, and despite poor connectedness, less likely to own a car than the average across Wales. Compared to Other Deprived Areas, these Less Resilient Areas also receive less funding from charities and third sector organisations.

“Our research shows that communities with fewer places to meet, a less engaged and active  community and poorer connectivity to the wider economy, experience significantly different  social and economic outcomes compared to communities possessing more of these assets.”

Another interesting thing to note is the location of these Less Resilient Areas:

“Strikingly, many LRA communities experiencing infrastructure challenges and deprivation are found on the peripheries of major urban centres, on post-World War II housing estates and in former mining communities. The data suggests that, relatively speaking, most rural areas have been able to sustain their civic assets, despite not normally being described as wealthy and experiencing often very poor connectivity. Deeper analysis of the data suggests that many rural areas across Wales experience high levels of active and engaged communities.”

Read the full report here: https://www.bct.wales/wcai

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