CSK Strategies works with clients across the whole spectrum of Economic Development and Regeneration, completing projects in the following areas.

The Minority Ethnic Enterprise Centre of Expertise (MEECOE)Funded by Advantage West Midlands, MEECOE is an exciting two-year project that promotes a strategic and innovative approach to supporting minority ethnic businesses in the West Midlands. A consortium led by De Montfort University’s Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), and including CSK Strategies and Lancaster University, works with public and private sector stakeholders to enhance policy and practice for minority ethnic enterprise in the region. MEECOE is delivering a coherent set of activities that relate to four core areas

  • market intelligence – an authoritative assessment of minority ethnic enterprise in the region, analysed and used to communicate to stakeholders the implications for policy and practice.
  • stakeholder engagement – a strategy to establish value added relationships with public and private sector agencies, businesses and intermediaries to promote and facilitate change.
  • policy and scrutiny – support and input into the development of enterprise policy.
  • piloting – developing new approaches to minority ethnic enterprise development.

For further information, read MEECOES’s pathbreaking Profile of Ethnic Minority Businesses in Birmingham and other recent documents in the News and Views section of this website.Programme and Project EvaluationCSK Strategies has evaluated numerous regeneration programmes and projects. In 2008 we completed the final evaluation of South Sefton’s extended SRB6 programme, having undertaken the mid-term evaluation in 2005. The SRB Partnership supported the installation of 100 Antony Gormley statues to create Another Place on Crosby beach, pictured here.We prepared the final evaluation of Rochdale’s extended SRB5, Revitalising Inner Rochdale, and have subsequently provided a Forward Strategy for the SRB Partnership.Other SRB programmes that we have evaluated were delivered by the Health Sector: South Birmingham PCT’s SRB5 Family Support: Opportunities for Life and Learning and the North East London Strategic Health Authority’s SRB5 Programme, The Health Ladder to Social Inclusion. Other Health and Education evaluations undertaken by CSK are outlined in the sections below.We have underatken a number of NDC thematic evaluations including

  • Employment for Kings Norton NDC
  • Education for Wolverhampton NDC
  • Adult Learning for Wolverhampton NDC
  • Health for Wolverhampton NDC

Partnership support and development is central to most evaluations undertaken by CSK Strategies.In Birmingham we conducted, with ECOTEC Survey, an evaluation of the SRB and ERDF-funded interventions in four Local Centres in the north-west of the city: Dudley Road, Soho Road, Villa Road and Lozells Road.In Basildon we undertook thematic evaluations of the Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder, Interlock!A Birmingham-based voluntary organisation, The Muath Trust, asked CSK Strategies to evaluate their £5m refurbishment programme that was funded by AWM and the GOWM.In June 2006 we led on the evaluation the Regeneration Zones as part of an evaluation of Advantage West Midlands’ Delivery Mechanisms.


Neighbourhoods and Localities

CSK Strategies has played a central role in the development of Neighbourhood Management, particularly in the city of Birmingham. This has focused on the role of partnership in service delivery and laid the ground for the Total Place approachChris Khamis has worked within Birmingham’s devolved management structures to provide a Neighbourhood Management Strategy and Action Plan for the Hodge Hill District, the largest District in the City. Profiles and Action Plans have been drawn up for the 13 neighbourhoods in the four Wards of the District, situated in the context of Ward and District profiles. These have been based on small area quantitative data covering a range of issues relevant to neighbourhood renewal, and on qualitative information collected from neighbourhood level consultations with local communities and professionals from agencies working in the neighbourhoods. This has been transformed into a leading edge report, using maps, graphics and plain English to make the results widely accessible and to draw out key issues for action. This work has led to CSK working with other Neighbourhood Management Partnerships in Birmingham (in Soho, Nechells, Handsworth and Sparkbrook Wards) to produce similar Strategies, Action Plans and Neighbourhood Agreements or to assist the Partnerships in this process.

CSK Strategies is the Midlands partner of the National Association for Neighbourhood Management, facilitating conferences, debates, peer support groups and site visits across the region. These have covered topics such as Worklessness; Participatory Budgeting; Engaging Young People; Community Cohesion; Local Area Agreements; Extended Services and the Cleaner Greener agenda. We have also delivered bespoke training programmes for neighbourhood practitioners across the country.

We are currently facilitating the Neighbourhood Practitioner’s Forum for BeBirmingham, which allows us to work closely with Neighbourhood Managers on the ground, providing training and support relating to neighbourhood planning, service delivery, and sustainability.

Our evaluation of Waltham Forest’s Better Neighbourhoods Initiative, completed in July 2008, can be found on the council’s website. This piece of work informed the future development of the Borough’s Neighbourhood Renewal Fund programme.

We worked with two Neighbourhood Management Pathfinders (NMP).
Chris Khamis and colleague at CSR Partnership prepared the first Delivery Plan for the Heart of Burton’s Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder.
We also undertook a number of assignments for Interlock! NMP in Basildon, Essex including their interim and final evaluations. Together with ECOTEC Survey, we conducted a survey of local residents. The aim was to supply the evidence base to establish the benefits of Neighbourhood Management in the area.


Economic Development, Employment and Worklessness

Economics and Economic Development is Chris Khamis’ passion and the core from which he views his work in regeneration. He is a tutor for the BURA Training Programme, delivering the module on Economic Development and Financing Regeneration, and has sat on the Assessment Panel for BURA’s Best Practice in Regeneration Awards for the last thriteen years. The link between Economic Development and Employment was made in Chris’s work as a Local Improvement Adviser and as a member of the LIA panel that provided advice to prospective bidders to and deliverers of the Future Jobs Fund.As well as undertaking economic analyses and designing and evaluating initiatives, CSK understands that partnership working has to be the basis of successful economic development.  Boosting growth, employment enterprise and innovation at the same time as reducing inequalities by ensuring that the benefits of development are secured by those in greatest need cannot be the responsibility of one organisation or one sector.  All in the public, private and third sectors have a key role to play and CSK has worked in developing partnerships which optimise joint working at the strategic and operational level, for example in preparing a Regeneration Action Plan for the Wolverhampton Partnership or a Succession Plan for Regenerating Inner Rochdale’s SRB programme.Chris Khamis is a member of the Board of Wolverhampton Science Park, which manages a state-of-the-art business enterprise location. Chris has been involved with this venture since 1995 when, as Chief Executive of Wolverhampton City Challenge he worked to regenerate a 32 acre derelict gas works into what is today the site of the Sience Park.

CSK Strategies has recently worked with ECOTEC to produce an Economic Development Strategy for Urban Living, the Housing Market Renewal Partnership for Birmingham and Sandwell.

Birmingham City Council recently commissioned CSK Strategies to evaluate the outreach employment project funded by Kings Norton 3 Estates NDC.

In 2007 CSK Strategies undertook an impact assessment of skills and worklessness in Sandwell for the Sandwell Partnership.



Learning and Skills in Regeneration

The link between Regeneration and Skills is a specialism of CSK Strategies. We work with consultants who have a breadth of experience in the field, led by CSK Director, Brenda Addison.Our most recent assignments are:

  • the evaluation of Aston Pride’s English Language Learning Project.
  • an Audit of the Birmingham Education, Skills and Training Network (BEST)
  • the evaluation of Wolverhampton NDC’s Adult Learning and Skills Strategy
    community impact assessments for three school-based art/media projects funded by Urban Living in north west Birmingham. The photograph shows one piece of art work.
  • the evaluation of the redevelopment of an Early Years centre, funded by North Fulham NDC.

Since 2006 we have been commissioned to work on a number of projects, including

  • The evaluation of two NRF projects for Coventry’s Minority Group Support Service, one relating to supplementary schooling and the other to specialist provision for young people who arrive in Coventry in Year 11 or year 12;
  • Research into the English language learning needs of residents in Birmingham’s Aston Pride NDC;
  • Beneficiary evaluations of three community-based ESF training programmes in London, for Tribal Regeneration;
  • A Midlands-wide Peer Support Group to explore Extended Services and Regeneration, for the National Neighbourhood Management Network.

Community Engagement and Community Cohesion

CSK Strategies has been at the forefront of work on community cohesion, setting it in the context of regeneration and equality. We recently worked with Urban Living, the Housing Market Renewal Partnership for Birmingham and Sandwell, to develop a Community Cohesion Strategy and Action Plan.In addition, we played a leading role in the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit’s ‘Managing Diversity in Northern Towns’ research project. Our earlier work with NDC partnerships in Greets Green and Wolverhampton, and with the Smethwick Regeneration Partnership deployed models of community engagement that engendered cohesion at the same time as celebrating diversity.RENEW North Staffordshire commissioned CSK Strategies to undertake research into Community Consultation across a range of policy areas which will highlight relevant legislation and guidelines, and identify existing policy and practice in North Staffordshire. The research will contribute to the production of a revised Community Consultation Strategy, which CSK will produce as a practical document to inform the officers of the three Councils that make up the area.

CSK Strategies has worked with Ancer Spa in two areas of Birmingham, to develop plans for their improvement. Birmingham City Council commissioned a study of the Stratford Road/Warwick Road area and the production of a set of proposals for projects that will bring improved prosperity to these important gateway routes. A similar assignment was also commissioned for Washwood Heath. CSK’s particular role was the consultation activity, engaging the local community and business in the process of visioning and developing ideas.

Much of CSK’s work involves community consultation, particularly in the process of developing neighbourhood or area-based regeneration strategies. The image on the left was taken when we worked with Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT’s Patient and Public Involvement Officer to consult on the Health Strategy for North Sparkbrook in Birmingham.

See Chris’s paper for the British Urban Regeneration Association.


Health and Regeneration

Regeneration issues in the Health and Social Care Sector have become an important aspect of CSK’s work. In 2006 Chris Khamis completed work with key Health and Regeneration organisations in Birmingham on the interdependencies between Health & Social Care and the city-wide regeneration. This led to a ground breaking Summit of leading players to map out a long term strategy to meet the challenges they faced and to grasp the opportunities presented through better collaboration and partnership working.More recently CSK Strategies evaluated the Health Theme of Wolverhampton’s NDC programme and wrote the Health Strategy and Action Plan for Ladywood Constituency in Birmingham and for the North Sparkbrook and Farm Park Neighbourhood Management area, commissioned by the Heart of Birmingham PCT and the local Constituency Offices.Chris Khamis was also appointed to evaluate two SRB5 programmes that were located in the Health Sector. The £24m Family Support: Opportunities for Life and Learning programme, led by South Birmingham PCT, commissioned CSR Partnership to undertake a formative evaluation over the final four years of the programme.
We also undertook the final evaluation of the Health Ladder to Social Inclusion, an SRB5 Partnership led by the North East London Strategic Health Authority.

Chris Khamis recently worked as a Neighbourhood Renewal Adviser for Doncaster NDC, assisting them in the development of their Health Strategy.

CSK Strategies is on the IDeA’s Healthy Communities Framework Panel and Chris Khamis worked as a Neighbourhood Renewal Adviser for Doncaster NDC, assisting them in the development of their Health Strategy