Meet the Engagement Group

In-depth, creative and long-term engagement that all stakeholders can trust


The involvement of people in the design of place is an essential part of creating vibrant, cohesive communities which allow people to thrive. And yet too often, engagement in planning and development feels unsatisfactory for stakeholders on all sides. We are developing a new approach which is less adversarial and more collaborative; less transactional and more creative; and which builds a legacy of trust, dialogue and involvement between all stakeholders before during and throughout the occupation and use of a development.

The Engagement Group brings together four organisations with a range of complementary skills and experience in the built environment and community engagement. We have teamed up to rethink the way community and stakeholder engagement works in the built environment and to develop an offer that can help councils, developers and citizens collaborate and communicate better, from the earliest vision-setting to master-planning, designing, occupation/use and beyond.

Our aims

We want to explore new approaches to engaging citizens in infrastructure and built environment schemes. As a diverse partnership we are able to:

Put social value at the heart of creating better places

Helping commissioners to understand what this means in practice and involving a range of stakeholders including residents and local businesses in these discussions.

Reduce risk and uncertainty around the planning process

Helping to build productive working relationships between residents, other local stakeholders and those planning new schemes – even in complex, controversial contexts where disagreement is high.

Help councils and commissioning organisations to reach deep into communities

And ‘future communities’ – including seldom-heard groups, vulnerable people and those with protected characteristics.

Provide a holistic, joined-up and transparent approach

To engagement which builds credibility and legitimacy amongst all stakeholders, and which remains relevant throughout the full development timeframe from briefing and inception until several years after occupation.

Bring a range of creative engagement approaches from other sectors

Including more deliberative techniques that help stakeholders get beyond initial reactions and engage them more fully in thinking through the tensions and trade-offs of different local futures.

Build lasting capacity in organisations and communities

Supporting skills-development in engagement practice and supporting citizens to participate in place-shaping in different ways – including in the long-term future of their communities.

The approach we’re proposing is flexible so that it can be adapted to different clients and different project requirements, and is also rigorous enough to satisfy the expectations of funders, planners, local authorities and commissioners. Through this approach, we aim to provoke discussion across the sector about how a different perspective on engagement can help to address the disconnect between policy and practise.

What happens next?

Our first priority as a partnership is to understand what councils, developers and others in the sector need from this new approach to engagement; and to begin trialling our approach for real.

Get involved – we would love to hear your views

If you have comments and ideas that you would like to share, or have a scheme in mind which you think would benefit from our proposed approach, please get in touch with Phil Higham

Meet The Group


RealWorth works to create places which enable people to realise their full potential. It helps organisations identify, maximise, measure and communicate the societal value of buildings, places and programmes. We work in four ways:

Identify – Making it easy for organisations to understand the often invisible impact their activities have, on all kinds of people.

Maximise – Using knowledge to make improvements that will enhance the impact on people’s lives.

Measure – Recording people’s accounts and then using them to calculate a monetary value for a variety of impacts. Then staying in touch to track the actual impacts over time.

Communicate – Sharing the story of actual ongoing impacts with all stakeholders, using language everyone can understand. Recommending ideas on future improvements.

For more information visit


Traverse helps organisations that are dealing with complex and controversial issues to understand what people affected think about their projects and proposals. We use transparent processes and evidence-based tools to engage a wide range of voices – whether personal or professional, loudly proclaimed or seldom heard.

Our experts work with you to evaluate and implement your decisions, improve your plans and build capacity and support you to deliver real impact. Our clients rely on us when the issues are thorny and when they want an approach that’s creative and co-designed. From health and social care integration to creating a new local vision, we bring our expertise to help you engage, analyse and act decisively.

For more information visit


Our online platform has reached over a million people in trusted and diverse conversations about the places where they live, work and play. We will help you broaden your reach, e.g. 70% of the people who contribute are under the age of 45. We will deliver more contributions. Most of our consultations reach thousands of people, providing you with robust evidence to reduce planning, political and financial risk.

We provide an engaging, intuitive and interactive platform together with up to the second reporting of the project’s progress through our project dashboard, allowing you to determine where you need to take action to deliver a comprehensive consultation. Most importantly though, our open and transparent approach inspires trust, increases usage and delivers high quality consultations.

You can learn more about us here

Paul Bragman Community & Economic Regeneration Consultancy

Since it was established in 2002, Paul Bragman Community & Economic Regeneration Consultancy has worked with over 80 housing associations, local authorities, community and voluntary organisations, and non-governmental organisations in the UK, Asia, South America and Africa.

We provide community and economic development services as an effective way to tackle inequality, achieve social justice and deliver tangible change to local communities. We provide a wide range of services and areas of expertise including capacity building, community engagement, partnership development, business planning, conflict resolution, mediation, participatory evaluation and economic development.

You can learn more about us here

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