SSE sites its centres (try saying that in a hurry) in areas of ‘social deprivation’ or ‘disadvantage’, although we are probably as guilty as others at times at bandying around those terms without fully understanding what we mean by them. There are, of course, areas of deprivation in need of regeneration pretty much everywhere, and sometimes in different ways to what you expect. I was recently in Cornwall discussing the potential for an SSE down there, and there was much discussion about how the model and methodology had worked in rural as well as urban areas, and the various challenges that brought (transport, access, buildings, infrastructure). Then, towards the end of the conversation, one person mentioned that one of the biggest/most troubled estates (block, rather than land!) was also in the area; so actually, our work on inner city London estates had as much relevance as our work in the former coal-mining areas in East Midlands or Fife.
Speaking of Fife, the Fife SSE is based in Lochgelly whose Wikipedia page describes it as follows: "It was originally a mining town, but with the industry now dead the
town has slipped into economic and social deprivation as with other
former mining towns. Lochgelly is now classed as a town in need of
regeneration "economically and socially". Good to know that Wikipedia agrees with us. Anyway, I was reminded about Lochgelly because it has long been reported as the place with the cheapest house prices in the UK, but this week we were told that its average house price went above £100,000 for the first time (£104,738 to be precise). One indicator of deprivation/need for regeneration need, perhaps, but merely one of many (and one fraught with many complexities). Still, I don’t think there will be an SSE Kensington and Chelsea anytime soon.