Back on the Map Visited by Minister for Levelling Up

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Dehenna Davison, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up, accompanied by Tim
Davies-Pugh, Chief Executive of Power to Change visited Back on the Map where they were welcomed by CEO Jo Cooper.

The visit, facilitated by Power to Change, aimed to highlight to government the strong role that
community business can play in revitalising our high streets. The Minister visited Villette Road in the
Hendon area of Sunderland, where Back on the Map is developing a vision for the high street
through a Community Improvement District, one of seven pilots being supported by Power to

Community Improvement Districts are a new model for governing and regenerating our town
centres. The approach builds on the idea of a Business Improvement District but adds the missing
ingredient of the participation from community organisations and residents alongside businesses
and councils.

The Minister met with Joanne Cooper, Chief Executive of Back on the Map, to discuss the community
business’ aspirations to rejuvenate the local area, progress that has already been made and efforts
to ensure that the local community in Hendon feels the full economic benefits of the community-led
investment and regeneration.

The Minster took a tour of the high street, where she met local traders and people in the community
making a difference on the high street. During the visit, the Minister spoke to those involved in the
Community Improvement District project to gain an understanding of their perspective. Sitting down
with high street traders, Durham Wildlife Trust and Back on the Map board members for a
roundtable, they discussed how local people can revitalise their high streets, the challenges faced by
the high street and ways the government can support this work.

Tim Davies-Pugh, Chief Executive of Power to Change said: “Back on the Map is a testament to what
Community Improvements Districts and community business can do for local communities and our
high streets. Sitting down with the Minister to discuss the important work taking place in Hendon
and how the support of Government can drive this change forward, not only in Sunderland but
across the UK, is extremely encouraging. Community business is key to levelling up being a success
and being felt by everyone. It’s important these organisations making lasting change in their local
communities are recognised and strengthened.”

Joanne Cooper, Chief Executive of Back on the Map said: “Conversations with the Levelling Up
Minister has meant that Back on the Map and local residents can showcase the excellent work we
are doing. Support for communities will help them flourish and grow, this is what we’ve seen on a
local level in Hendon. Levelling up means building local wealth from the bottom up so regeneration can follow.

We know this won’t be an overnight change, but these conversations with ministers can
start to make a lasting difference in communities like ours.”