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We are a cross-party, member-led network, providing a single voice for our member councils

Regeneration and Growth

DCN member councils play a vital role in growing local economies, regenerating town centres and restoring pride in place. We know our local economies and communities like no one else, and we are the catalysts for growth outside metropolitan areas.

Our status as the most localised principal authorities means we have unrivalled links with businesses both large and small. We can attract private investment that creates and reinforces business clusters, which are often centred around a relatively small geographical area.

We are trusted by the government to level up, investing almost £1.6bn in total, including 41 districts receiving Town Deals worth £750m.

The district sector has a track record of delivering the foundations for growth:

  • Over 40% of new homes built in England in 2020-21 were in district areas, with the total increasing by 72% since 2011-12.
  • District councils have granted 90% of the 424,000 planning applications they received in 2021-22, with 86% determined within the target 13 weeks.
  • To give one example, a partnership of Oxfordshire’s district councils and county council paved the way for a £215m Housing and Growth Deal, providing 1,000 affordable homes and accelerating delivery of another 6,000 homes.




We are currently prioritising three issues for action, and have a series of aims for each:

Optimising Government funding for regeneration:

  • Push for future regeneration funding to be allocated in a fairer way that works for local places
  • Secure a shift from competitive bidding pots to a more devolved approach.

Promoting institutional investment in our areas:

  • Identify new ways to attract private sector and institutional investment into regeneration projects
  • Show that DCN councils can deliver with less reliance on central funding, supported by fiscal and regulatory change
  • Share best practice and innovation from the wealth of regeneration projects in progress across DCN council areas.

Accelerate the plan-making system:

  • Develop a new approach to addresses the flaws in the current plan-making system.
  • Demonstrate how districts can deliver good local plans in 30 months to deliver new housing and growth.
  • Engage central government to ensure that planning reforms work for Local Planning Authorities and enable us to deliver more of the homes our communities want.



DCN spokesperson: TBC

Lead chief executives: Jon McGinty, Gloucester City Council; Rose Rouse, Pendle Borough Council; and Edd de Coverly, Melton Borough Council
jon.mcginty@gloucester.gov.uk; Rose.Rouse@pendle.gov.uk and edecoverly@melton.gov.uk.

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