On Thursday 21 January 2016 we held the Imagining Benwell Workshop and Exhibition at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne. The workshop “Community Development in Benwell & the West End of Newcastle:From the National Community Development Project to ‘Our Place’ and Beyond” was attended by 50 people (from academic, policy and practice backgrounds).
The aim of the workshop was to re-examine the achievements and challenges of the Benwell Community Development Project (CDP) of the 1970s, and consider the legacies and lessons for community development and engagement today. Sarah Banks (Principal Investigator of Imagine North East) opened the workshop with an introduction to Imagine North East, followed by an overview of the National Community Development Project of which Benwell CDP was one of twelve CDP projects in the 1970s.
Highlights included hearing the perspectives of former Benwell CDP workers, how the CDP imagined the future and looking at the past and present of Benwell. We also heard critical perspectives from local community organisations and viewed a short film extract from ‘Hopes and Fears’ – a film made for Imagine North East by young people involved in the Patchwork Youth project in Benwell.