Byker Community Trust (BCT) has entered into a new two-year partnership with Newcastle University.
The tie-up will investigate how housing associations like BCT can best engage and involve residents in providing services that are of value to them.
It is supported by Innovate UK and the Economic and Social Research Council, and backed with £129k in funding – the largest awarded to any housing association in the North England as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).
For BCT, it could help residents influence the way services are delivered on the Grade II-listed Byker Estate in Newcastle.
BCT said the partnership will build on the Byker Approach, an existing housing management model developed to improve engagement with residents.
Lisa van Heereveld, appointed lead the partnership, said: “The partnership will be a great opportunity to analyse and apply groundbreaking academic research to a North East housing association.
“Having recently completed my MSc in Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship at Newcastle University, I am excited to continue work with the university in a way that benefits the Byker community as well as BCT as an organisation.”
Dr Eleftherios Alamanos, researcher and degree programme director of BSc Marketing at Newcastle University, commented: “We are excited to be working with Lisa, BCT and partners on this innovative project. It is one of the few KTPs that investigates the social and economic impact of community engagement.
“The project will help a not-for-profit organisation like BCT not only co-create value for its customers by identifying and satisfying their needs and expectations; but also reinvest into and support Byker communities.”
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