Town Planning Review

Community enterprises as boundary organisations aiding small-town revival: exploring the potential

Town Planning Review (2019), 90, (6), 625–651.

Abstract

Revival of small towns has often been slow. To counteract previous ineffective responses, improved governance is often required at the small-town level. This paper explores the potential for community enterprises (CEs) to support such efforts. Whilst the efforts of CEs can be salient to small-town revival, drawing on the boundary-organisation literature, a ‘dual accountability’ is also required for local legitimacy and external credibility. By uniquely providing a combination of professional skills, enterprise underpinnings and a focus on ‘community of place’, the case study findings suggest CEs can undertake the necessary long-term boundary-spanning work to achieve ‘dual accountability’. However, success in deprived contexts will require public subsidy and an acceptance that CE success, if it occurs, is likely to take many years. Through exploring the efficacy of CEs within small-town revival, this paper adds to wider international debates on the role of community leadership within place-based revival.

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References

BAILEY, N. (2012), ‘The role, organisation and contribution of community enterprise to urban regeneration policy in the UK’, Progress in Planning, 77, 1–35. Google Scholar

BAILEY, N. (2017), ‘The contribution of community enterprise to British urban regeneration in a period of state retrenchment’, in M. van Ham, D. Reuschke, R. Kleinhaus, C. Mason and S. Syrett (eds), Entrepreneurial Neighbourhoods: Towards an Understanding of the Economies of Neighbourhoods and Communities, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 229–48. Google Scholar

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BARNES, T. J. and HAYTER, R. (1992), ‘“The little town that did”: flexible accumulation and community response in Chemainus, British Columbia’, Regional Studies, 26, 647–63. Google Scholar

BISHOP, J. (2010), ‘From parish plans to localism in England: straight track or long and winding road?’, Planning Practice & Research, 25, 611–24. Google Scholar

BOYLE, R. (1993), ‘Changing partners: the experience of urban economic policy in West Central Scotland, 1980–90’, Urban Studies, 30, 309–23. Google Scholar

BURAYIDI, M. A. (2013), Resilient Downtowns: A New Approach to Revitalizing Small- and Medium-City Downtown, New York, Routledge. Google Scholar

CASH, D. W., CLARK, W. C., ALCOCK, F., DICKSON, N. M., ECKLEY, N., GUSTON, D. H., JÄGER, J. and MITCHELL, R. B. (2003), ‘Knowledge systems for sustainable development’, Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, 100, 8086–91. Google Scholar

CASSAR, G. (2004), ‘The financing of business start-ups’, Journal of Business Venturing, 19, 261–83. Google Scholar

CLARK, D., SOUTHERN, R. and BEER, J. (2007), ‘Rural governance, community empowerment and the new institutionalism: a case study of the Isle of Wight’, Journal of Rural Studies, 23, 254–66. Google Scholar

CONNELLY, S. (2011), ‘Constructing legitimacy in the new community governance’, Urban Studies, 48, 929–46. Google Scholar

COUNTRYSIDE AGENCY (2004), Assessment of the Market Towns Initiative, Cheltenham, Countryside Agency. Google Scholar

COURTNEY, P., LÉPICIER, D. and SCHMITT, B. (2008), ‘Spatial patterns of production linkages in the context of Europe’s small towns: how are rural firms linked to the local economy?’, Regional Studies, 42, 355–74. Google Scholar

DANIELS, T. L., KELLER, J. W., LAPPING, M. B., DANIELS, K. and SEGEDY, J. (2007), The Small Town Planning Handbook, 3rd edn, Chicago, Planners Press, American Planning Association. Google Scholar

DAVOUDI, S. and COWIE, P. (2013), ‘Are English neighbourhood forums democratically legitimate?’, Planning Theory & Practice, 14, 562–66. Google Scholar

DTCPT (DISTRESSED TOWN CENTRE PROPERTY TASKFORCE) (2013), Beyond Retail: Redefining the Shape and Purpose of Town Centres, London, Colliers International. Google Scholar

EDWARDS, B., GOODWIN, M., PEMBERTON, S. and WOODS, M. (2000), Partnership Working in Rural Regeneration: Governance and Empowerment?, Bristol, The Policy Press. Google Scholar

EVERSOLE, R., BARRAKET, J. and LUKE, B. (2013), ‘Social enterprise in rural community development’, Community Development Journal, 49, 245–61. Google Scholar

FARMER, J., STEINEROWSKI, A. and JACK, S. (2008), ‘Starting social enterprises in remote and rural Scotland: best or worst of circumstances?’, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 6, 450–64. Google Scholar

FLYVBJERG, B. (2006), ‘Five misunderstandings about case-study research’, Qualitative Inquiry, 12, 219–45. Google Scholar

GORE, T., POWELL, R. and WELLS, P. (2006), ‘The contribution of rural community business to integrated rural development: “local services for local people”’, Cahiers d’économie et de sociologie rurales, 80, 30–52. Google Scholar

GREEN, R. J. (2010), Coastal Towns in Transition: Local Perceptions of Landscape Change, Melbourne, Springer. Google Scholar

GUSTON, D. H. (1999), ‘Stablizing the boundary between US politics and science: the role of the Office of Technology Transfer as a boundary organization’, Social Studies of Science, 29, 87–111. Google Scholar

GUSTON, D. H. (2001), ‘Boundary organizations in environmental policy and science: an introduction’, Science, Technology, & Human Values, 26, 399–408. Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2007), Urban Complexity and Spatial Strategies: Towards a Relational Planning of Our Times, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2009), ‘In search of the “strategic” in spatial strategy making’, Planning Theory & Practice, 10, 439–57. Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2015), ‘Civil society enterprise and local development’, Planning Theory and Practice, 16, 11–27. Google Scholar

JEFFREYS, H. and MUNN, P. (1996), ‘Tumby Bay: an integrated community development approach for managing change’, Rural Society, 6, 3–13. Google Scholar

KLEINHANS, R. (2017), ‘False promises of co-production in neighbourhood regeneration: the case of Dutch community enterprises’, Public Management Review, 19, 1500–18. Google Scholar

LAWLESS, P. (2011), ‘Big society and community: lessons from the 1998–2011 New Deal for Communities Programme in England’, People, Place & Policy Online, 5, 55–64. Google Scholar

MARKEY, S., HALSETH, G. and MANSON, D. (2012), Investing in Place: Economic Renewal in Northern British Columbia, Vancouver, UBC Press. Google Scholar

MOLDEN, O., ABRAMS, J., DAVIS, E. J. and MOSELEY, C. (2017), ‘Beyond localism: the micropolitics of local legitimacy in a community-based organisation’, Journal of Rural Studies, 50, 60–69. Google Scholar

MORRIS, G. (2011), ‘People helping people: an assessment of the Market Towns and related initiatives, and the extent to which they addressed rural poverty’ (PhD thesis), University of Exeter. Google Scholar

MSWAKA, W. and ALUKO, O. (2014), ‘Legal structure and outcomes of social enterprise: the case of South Yorkshire, UK’, Local Economy, 29, 810–25. Google Scholar

NEL, E. and STEVENSON, T. (2014), ‘The catalysts of small town economic development in a free market economy: a case study of New Zealand’, Local Economy, 29, 486–502. Google Scholar

O’MAHONY, S. and BECHKY, B. A. (2008), ‘Boundary organizations: enable collaboration among unexpected allies’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 53, 422–59. Google Scholar

OSBORNE, S., WILLIAMSON, A. and BEATTIE, R. (2004), ‘Community involvement in rural regeneration partnerships: exploring the rural dimension’, Local Government Studies, 30, 156–81. Google Scholar

O’TOOLE, K. and BURDESS, N. (2004), ‘New community governance in small rural towns: the Australian experience’, Journal of Rural Studies, 20, 433–43. Google Scholar

OWEN, S., MOSELEY, M. and COURTNEY, P. (2007), ‘Bridging the gap: an attempt to reconcile strategic planning and very local community-based planning in rural England’, Local Government Studies, 33, 49–76. Google Scholar

PARADIS, T. W. (2000), ‘Conceptualizing small towns as urban places: the process of downtown redevelopment in Galena, Illinois’, Urban Geography, 21, 61–82. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A. (2018), ‘Non-amenity business growth and small town revival’, Journal of Rural Studies, 62, 125–33. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A. and HART, T. (2008), ‘Market towns: understanding and maintaining functionality’, Town Planning Review, 79, 1–14. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A. and HART, T. (2017), Planning for Small Town Change, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A., HART, T. and SHAW, T. (2007), Market Towns: Roles, Challenges and Prospects, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A. and PRINGLE, R. (2017), Helping Businesses Thrive in Peripheral Rural Towns, http://www.civitas.org.uk/publications/helping-businesses-thrive-in-peripheral-rural-towns (accessed 24 June 2018). Google Scholar

POWE, N. A., PRINGLE, R. and HART, T. (2015), ‘Matching the process to the challenge within small town regeneration’, Town Planning Review, 86, 177–202. Google Scholar

ROSE, R. (2005), Learning from Comparative Public Policy: A Practical Guide, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

SCHARPF, F. W. (1997), ‘Economic integration, democracy and the welfare state’, Journal of European Public Policy, 4, 18–36. Google Scholar

SMITH, D. P. (1998), ‘The revitalisation of the Hebden Bridge district: greentrification Pennine rurality’ (PhD thesis), Leeds, University of Leeds. Google Scholar

SOMERVILLE, P. and MCELWEE, G. (2011), ‘Situating community enterprise: a theoretical explanation’, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 23, 317–30. Google Scholar

STEINEROWSKI, A. A. and STEINEROWSKA-STREB, I. (2012), ‘Can social enterprise contribute to creating sustainable rural communities? Using the lens of structuration theory to analyse the emergence of rural social enterprise’, Local Economy, 27, 167–82. Google Scholar

TAYLOR, M. (2003), Public Policy in the Community, Houndmills, Palgrave Macmillan. Google Scholar

TONTS, M. (2000), ‘The future of Australian’s declining country towns: a comment’, Regional Science Policy & Practice, 9, 11–16. Google Scholar

TUSHMAN, M. L. and SCANLAN, T. J. (1981), ‘Boundary spanning individuals: their role in information transfer and their antecedents’, Academy of Management Journal, 24, 289–305. Google Scholar

VALCHOVSKA, S. and WATTS, G. (2016), ‘Interpreting community-based enterprise: a case study from rural Wales’, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 7, 211–35. Google Scholar

VANGEN, S. and HUXHAM, C. (2003), ‘Enacting leadership for collaborative advantage: dilemmas of ideology and pragmatism in the activities of partnership managers’, British Journal of Management, 14, S61–S76. Google Scholar

VAN MEERKERK, I., ZWANENBURG, M. and VAN EERD, M. (2017), ‘Enabling and constraining conditions for boundary-spanning in community-led urban regeneration: a conceptual model’, in P. van Dijk, J. Edelenbos and K. van Rooijen (eds), Urban Governance in the Realm of Complexity, Rugby, Practical Action Publishing, 171–93. Google Scholar

VARADY, D., KEINHANS, R. and VAN HAM, M. (2015), ‘The potential of community entrepreneurship for neighbourhood revitalization in the United Kingdom and the United States’, Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, 9, 253–76. Google Scholar

WALLACE, B. (2002), ‘Exploring the meaning(s) of sustainability for community-based social entrepreneurs’, Social Enterprise Journal, 1, 78–89. Google Scholar

WESTERHAUSEN, K. and MACBETH, J. (2003), ‘Backpackers and empowered local communities: natural allies in the struggle for sustainability and local control?’, Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment, 5, 71–86. Google Scholar

WILLIAMS, P. (2002), ‘The competent boundary spanner’, Public Administration, 80, 103–24. Google Scholar

WIRTH, P., ELIS, V., MÜLLER, B. and YAMAMOTO, K. (2016), ‘Peripheralisation of small towns in Germany and Japan: dealing with economic decline and population loss’, Journal of Rural Studies, 47, 62–75. Google Scholar

BAILEY, N. (2012), ‘The role, organisation and contribution of community enterprise to urban regeneration policy in the UK’, Progress in Planning, 77, 1–35. Google Scholar

BAILEY, N. (2017), ‘The contribution of community enterprise to British urban regeneration in a period of state retrenchment’, in M. van Ham, D. Reuschke, R. Kleinhaus, C. Mason and S. Syrett (eds), Entrepreneurial Neighbourhoods: Towards an Understanding of the Economies of Neighbourhoods and Communities, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 229–48. Google Scholar

BAILEY, N. and PILL, M. (2011), ‘The continuing popularity of the neighbourhood and neighbourhood governance in the transition from the “big state” to the “big society” paradigm’, Environment and Planning C, 29, 927–42. Google Scholar

BARNES, T. J. and HAYTER, R. (1992), ‘“The little town that did”: flexible accumulation and community response in Chemainus, British Columbia’, Regional Studies, 26, 647–63. Google Scholar

BISHOP, J. (2010), ‘From parish plans to localism in England: straight track or long and winding road?’, Planning Practice & Research, 25, 611–24. Google Scholar

BOYLE, R. (1993), ‘Changing partners: the experience of urban economic policy in West Central Scotland, 1980–90’, Urban Studies, 30, 309–23. Google Scholar

BURAYIDI, M. A. (2013), Resilient Downtowns: A New Approach to Revitalizing Small- and Medium-City Downtown, New York, Routledge. Google Scholar

CASH, D. W., CLARK, W. C., ALCOCK, F., DICKSON, N. M., ECKLEY, N., GUSTON, D. H., JÄGER, J. and MITCHELL, R. B. (2003), ‘Knowledge systems for sustainable development’, Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, 100, 8086–91. Google Scholar

CASSAR, G. (2004), ‘The financing of business start-ups’, Journal of Business Venturing, 19, 261–83. Google Scholar

CLARK, D., SOUTHERN, R. and BEER, J. (2007), ‘Rural governance, community empowerment and the new institutionalism: a case study of the Isle of Wight’, Journal of Rural Studies, 23, 254–66. Google Scholar

CONNELLY, S. (2011), ‘Constructing legitimacy in the new community governance’, Urban Studies, 48, 929–46. Google Scholar

COUNTRYSIDE AGENCY (2004), Assessment of the Market Towns Initiative, Cheltenham, Countryside Agency. Google Scholar

COURTNEY, P., LÉPICIER, D. and SCHMITT, B. (2008), ‘Spatial patterns of production linkages in the context of Europe’s small towns: how are rural firms linked to the local economy?’, Regional Studies, 42, 355–74. Google Scholar

DANIELS, T. L., KELLER, J. W., LAPPING, M. B., DANIELS, K. and SEGEDY, J. (2007), The Small Town Planning Handbook, 3rd edn, Chicago, Planners Press, American Planning Association. Google Scholar

DAVOUDI, S. and COWIE, P. (2013), ‘Are English neighbourhood forums democratically legitimate?’, Planning Theory & Practice, 14, 562–66. Google Scholar

DTCPT (DISTRESSED TOWN CENTRE PROPERTY TASKFORCE) (2013), Beyond Retail: Redefining the Shape and Purpose of Town Centres, London, Colliers International. Google Scholar

EDWARDS, B., GOODWIN, M., PEMBERTON, S. and WOODS, M. (2000), Partnership Working in Rural Regeneration: Governance and Empowerment?, Bristol, The Policy Press. Google Scholar

EVERSOLE, R., BARRAKET, J. and LUKE, B. (2013), ‘Social enterprise in rural community development’, Community Development Journal, 49, 245–61. Google Scholar

FARMER, J., STEINEROWSKI, A. and JACK, S. (2008), ‘Starting social enterprises in remote and rural Scotland: best or worst of circumstances?’, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 6, 450–64. Google Scholar

FLYVBJERG, B. (2006), ‘Five misunderstandings about case-study research’, Qualitative Inquiry, 12, 219–45. Google Scholar

GORE, T., POWELL, R. and WELLS, P. (2006), ‘The contribution of rural community business to integrated rural development: “local services for local people”’, Cahiers d’économie et de sociologie rurales, 80, 30–52. Google Scholar

GREEN, R. J. (2010), Coastal Towns in Transition: Local Perceptions of Landscape Change, Melbourne, Springer. Google Scholar

GUSTON, D. H. (1999), ‘Stablizing the boundary between US politics and science: the role of the Office of Technology Transfer as a boundary organization’, Social Studies of Science, 29, 87–111. Google Scholar

GUSTON, D. H. (2001), ‘Boundary organizations in environmental policy and science: an introduction’, Science, Technology, & Human Values, 26, 399–408. Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2007), Urban Complexity and Spatial Strategies: Towards a Relational Planning of Our Times, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2009), ‘In search of the “strategic” in spatial strategy making’, Planning Theory & Practice, 10, 439–57. Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2015), ‘Civil society enterprise and local development’, Planning Theory and Practice, 16, 11–27. Google Scholar

JEFFREYS, H. and MUNN, P. (1996), ‘Tumby Bay: an integrated community development approach for managing change’, Rural Society, 6, 3–13. Google Scholar

KLEINHANS, R. (2017), ‘False promises of co-production in neighbourhood regeneration: the case of Dutch community enterprises’, Public Management Review, 19, 1500–18. Google Scholar

LAWLESS, P. (2011), ‘Big society and community: lessons from the 1998–2011 New Deal for Communities Programme in England’, People, Place & Policy Online, 5, 55–64. Google Scholar

MARKEY, S., HALSETH, G. and MANSON, D. (2012), Investing in Place: Economic Renewal in Northern British Columbia, Vancouver, UBC Press. Google Scholar

MOLDEN, O., ABRAMS, J., DAVIS, E. J. and MOSELEY, C. (2017), ‘Beyond localism: the micropolitics of local legitimacy in a community-based organisation’, Journal of Rural Studies, 50, 60–69. Google Scholar

MORRIS, G. (2011), ‘People helping people: an assessment of the Market Towns and related initiatives, and the extent to which they addressed rural poverty’ (PhD thesis), University of Exeter. Google Scholar

MSWAKA, W. and ALUKO, O. (2014), ‘Legal structure and outcomes of social enterprise: the case of South Yorkshire, UK’, Local Economy, 29, 810–25. Google Scholar

NEL, E. and STEVENSON, T. (2014), ‘The catalysts of small town economic development in a free market economy: a case study of New Zealand’, Local Economy, 29, 486–502. Google Scholar

O’MAHONY, S. and BECHKY, B. A. (2008), ‘Boundary organizations: enable collaboration among unexpected allies’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 53, 422–59. Google Scholar

OSBORNE, S., WILLIAMSON, A. and BEATTIE, R. (2004), ‘Community involvement in rural regeneration partnerships: exploring the rural dimension’, Local Government Studies, 30, 156–81. Google Scholar

O’TOOLE, K. and BURDESS, N. (2004), ‘New community governance in small rural towns: the Australian experience’, Journal of Rural Studies, 20, 433–43. Google Scholar

OWEN, S., MOSELEY, M. and COURTNEY, P. (2007), ‘Bridging the gap: an attempt to reconcile strategic planning and very local community-based planning in rural England’, Local Government Studies, 33, 49–76. Google Scholar

PARADIS, T. W. (2000), ‘Conceptualizing small towns as urban places: the process of downtown redevelopment in Galena, Illinois’, Urban Geography, 21, 61–82. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A. (2018), ‘Non-amenity business growth and small town revival’, Journal of Rural Studies, 62, 125–33. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A. and HART, T. (2008), ‘Market towns: understanding and maintaining functionality’, Town Planning Review, 79, 1–14. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A. and HART, T. (2017), Planning for Small Town Change, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A., HART, T. and SHAW, T. (2007), Market Towns: Roles, Challenges and Prospects, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

POWE, N. A. and PRINGLE, R. (2017), Helping Businesses Thrive in Peripheral Rural Towns, http://www.civitas.org.uk/publications/helping-businesses-thrive-in-peripheral-rural-towns (accessed 24 June 2018). Google Scholar

POWE, N. A., PRINGLE, R. and HART, T. (2015), ‘Matching the process to the challenge within small town regeneration’, Town Planning Review, 86, 177–202. Google Scholar

ROSE, R. (2005), Learning from Comparative Public Policy: A Practical Guide, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

SCHARPF, F. W. (1997), ‘Economic integration, democracy and the welfare state’, Journal of European Public Policy, 4, 18–36. Google Scholar

SMITH, D. P. (1998), ‘The revitalisation of the Hebden Bridge district: greentrification Pennine rurality’ (PhD thesis), Leeds, University of Leeds. Google Scholar

SOMERVILLE, P. and MCELWEE, G. (2011), ‘Situating community enterprise: a theoretical explanation’, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 23, 317–30. Google Scholar

STEINEROWSKI, A. A. and STEINEROWSKA-STREB, I. (2012), ‘Can social enterprise contribute to creating sustainable rural communities? Using the lens of structuration theory to analyse the emergence of rural social enterprise’, Local Economy, 27, 167–82. Google Scholar

TAYLOR, M. (2003), Public Policy in the Community, Houndmills, Palgrave Macmillan. Google Scholar

TONTS, M. (2000), ‘The future of Australian’s declining country towns: a comment’, Regional Science Policy & Practice, 9, 11–16. Google Scholar

TUSHMAN, M. L. and SCANLAN, T. J. (1981), ‘Boundary spanning individuals: their role in information transfer and their antecedents’, Academy of Management Journal, 24, 289–305. Google Scholar

VALCHOVSKA, S. and WATTS, G. (2016), ‘Interpreting community-based enterprise: a case study from rural Wales’, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 7, 211–35. Google Scholar

VANGEN, S. and HUXHAM, C. (2003), ‘Enacting leadership for collaborative advantage: dilemmas of ideology and pragmatism in the activities of partnership managers’, British Journal of Management, 14, S61–S76. Google Scholar

VAN MEERKERK, I., ZWANENBURG, M. and VAN EERD, M. (2017), ‘Enabling and constraining conditions for boundary-spanning in community-led urban regeneration: a conceptual model’, in P. van Dijk, J. Edelenbos and K. van Rooijen (eds), Urban Governance in the Realm of Complexity, Rugby, Practical Action Publishing, 171–93. Google Scholar

VARADY, D., KEINHANS, R. and VAN HAM, M. (2015), ‘The potential of community entrepreneurship for neighbourhood revitalization in the United Kingdom and the United States’, Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, 9, 253–76. Google Scholar

WALLACE, B. (2002), ‘Exploring the meaning(s) of sustainability for community-based social entrepreneurs’, Social Enterprise Journal, 1, 78–89. Google Scholar

WESTERHAUSEN, K. and MACBETH, J. (2003), ‘Backpackers and empowered local communities: natural allies in the struggle for sustainability and local control?’, Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment, 5, 71–86. Google Scholar

WILLIAMS, P. (2002), ‘The competent boundary spanner’, Public Administration, 80, 103–24. Google Scholar

WIRTH, P., ELIS, V., MÜLLER, B. and YAMAMOTO, K. (2016), ‘Peripheralisation of small towns in Germany and Japan: dealing with economic decline and population loss’, Journal of Rural Studies, 47, 62–75. Google Scholar

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Powe, Neil