Regeneration planners and designers are working longer and suffering a ‘recruitment freeze’ as employers adapt to the downturn, says the Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC).

The ASC polled urban planners and designers to examine the downturn’s impact on regeneration now and in the future.

It found that 49% of employers have diversified their company’s offer to cope, and almost a third (29%) have spread into other sectors to keep their business or department healthy. 27% said they are now working ‘more efficiently’.


Nine out of 10 emplyers are still investing in training, with a quarter recognising that there may be some professionals lacking the relevant skills to equip them for the future .

Unsurprisingly, 97 per cent of professionals cited budget management as essential. And nearly 90 per cent of respondents indicated they would value sharing knowledge with other organisations as a way to prepare for the next 12 months.

Gill Taylor, ASC chief executive, said: ‘The regeneration of communities requires long-term commitment and we’re delighted that almost two thirds of organisations are not cutting back on training.

‘We know times are tough for those working in the regeneration and property sectors but we urge organisations to remember skills and knowledge really do benefit the bottom line. During challenging times, working smarter and strong leadership skills become increasingly fundamental and it’s important to continue to look at training and development.’

Lessons learned

Those who worked during the recession of the early 1990s remained the most positive, the poll found. Almost a third (27%) claimed that they were now working more efficiently and 14% felt that remaining optimistic was crucial to preparing for the future.

Findings from both the public and private sectors:

Three quarters are employing coping strategies to deal with the economic downturn.

Two thirds claim their business is currently unaffected

Nine out of 10 organisations are still investing in skills and training

All professionals cited leadership skills as crucial to surviving the next 12 months