A new £36,000 project is to be launched aimed at creating a new wave of community-based researchers to shape the future of a Wolverhampton neighbourhood.
The University of Wolverhampton has been awarded the funding for the CAPTURE project to train researchers in Whitmore Reans.
Working with local partners, the aim is to train a diverse group of researchers to carry out community-based research to influence improvements in their own neighbourhood.
The new researchers will choose the issues to focus on, but examples could include traffic, the environment, housing quality, community venues and crime.
The University will work with local partners Newhampton Arts Centre based in Whitmore Reans, and Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council (WVSC).
The funding was awarded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), as part of the ‘enhancing place-based partnerships in public engagement’ programme.
James Rees, Deputy Director of the University’s Institute for Community Research and Development (ICRD) will lead the research and training. He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to share the skills of the research team at the University’s ICRD through providing excellent free training in community-based research to local people in Whitmore Reans. Working with local partners, the trained researchers will be able to shape and improve services, and ‘re-write the script’ for the area. Following the training, which will conclude in May 2020, they will be equipped with the skills to carry out research that benefits the area, for example influencing public spending decisions.”
Around 12 researchers will be trained at the Newhampton Arts Centre by ICRD experts throughout March, before starting a mini-research project in their neighbourhood.
A showcase event will take place at the University’s Chancellor’s Hall in May.
The CAPTURE project is one of 53 innovative projects across the UK which have been funded by the government via the research and innovation funding agency UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
The projects target communities who would not normally engage with research and innovation, so they can shape research and innovation that is relevant to their lives and their local areas.