Working Neighbourhoods Fund Evaluation Scoping

The Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) was established by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2008, with allocations to 65 local authorities to help them and their partners tackle concentrations of worklessness. We were members of a team led by the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge alongside Cambridge Econometrics and the University’s Centre for Housing and Planning Research.

The brief was to provide a baseline to enable assessment of WNF and undertake an interim evaluation. The project had three parts:

  • an analysis of labour market conditions in WNF areas
  • an early assessment of how strategies and approaches to tackle worklessness were being developed in WNF areas, and
  • recommendations for future evaluation of WNF.

The research involved a literature review, an online survey of all WNF areas, and in-depth interviews in 20. Download the Report.

A further output was an assessment of the feasibility of a national evaluation of Working Neighbourhoods Fund. Action on this was negated by the change of government in 2010.

Derrick Johnstone was subsequently asked by CLG as a Local Improvement Advisor to lead a review of progress being made on the implementation of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund in preparations for the 2010 Spending Review.




Evidence & performance, Skills & employment


employment, evaluation, neighbourhood