The Local Development Strategy (LDS) presents a compelling case for the target area through detailed socio-economic analysis of the area, independent research to identify gaps in provision, and extensive engagement with stakeholders and client groups to agree local priorities for action. LAG members have been actively involved in writing the strategy, drawing on their knowledge and experience of the local area, and promoting the LDS Vision:

To improve the connections between areas of need and opportunity by responding to community and resident priorities in the target CLLD area of Sunderland, by engaging and empowering local people and stakeholder groups, by investing in enterprise, employability and skills support, and by building community capacity, leadership and resilience.

The vision reflects the ongoing observation by stakeholders that despite economic growth opportunities, some communities and individuals are still missing out on the benefits. The disconnections that exist are challenges that CLLD will aim to tackle through a range of targeted investments, as well as through improved cooperation and communication.

The LAG believes that it is critical that Sunderland gets the opportunity to make the most of the CLLD model over a 5-year timeframe. The time, energy and commitment that local partners have already invested in CLLD provides ample evidence of its significance and the added value that can be achieved, building on previous successes, creating new forms of partnership working, and improving community leadership and capacity-building.

From the vision, three strategic objectives, and a series of actions, have been identified as follows:

Strategic objective 1: Enhancing employment and skills provision

  • Action 1.1 - Effective engagement, finding and sign-posting

  • Action 1.2 - Support towards, into and during employment

Strategic objective 2: Boosting enterprise and entrepreneurship

  • Action 2.1 - Inspiring an enterprising community

  • Action 2.2 - Creating sustainable enterprises - pre-start and start-up support

Strategic objective 3: Improving community capacity, partnership working and social innovation

  • Action 3.1 - Investing in community leadership and capacity-building

  • Action 3.2 - Promoting social investment opportunities