Dr Peter Lee has worked with Birmingham City Council to secure a three-year, €3.64m grant, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative call.

The grant will fund USE-IT! (Unlocking Social and Economic Innovation Together), a project which has been developed out of postgraduate teaching-led research.  Over the past four years students on the Urban Regeneration and Renewal module, as part of the RTPI accredited Urban and Regional Planning MSc, have worked within a realistic evaluation framework to develop projects that connect large-scale infrastructure projects to local communities. Two of the students’ projects have been written into the plans for the new regional hospital in Sandwell. USE-IT! scales up the model and develops a systematic approach to engaging poor and migrant communities in urban development.

The multi-agency project includes partners from the private, public and third sector and is the only UK bid to have been funded under the UIA initiative. 18 projects have been funded across the EU from 378 bids.

Running from November 2016 to November 2019, the project will incorporate researchers from City-Redi and the Third Sector Research Centre as well as funding new positions within the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS).

Find out more about the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative call