The University of Teesside is backing an initiative to regenerate the former mining village of Trimdon in County Durham. Labour leader and local MP Tony Blair has given the project his support and will speak at its official launch on July 26.
The university's Community Informatics Research and Applications unit is working with the Trimdon 2000 project to help attract funding for community regeneration. The project is chaired by Teesside MBA graduate and village resident Peter Brookes.
To gather ideas for regenerating the village, a large questionnaire was sent to 1,200 residents. A group of village residents entered the questionnaire results into the university's computers for analysis with the SPSS statistical software package. CIRA's co-director Dave Eagle said: "We got them down to the university, they were trained, and the following day they did it." But he played down the role of technology: "This is not a technology-led project. It is a community-led project."
Tony Blair, whose constituency home is in Trimdon, said: "This is a very exciting project and I am delighted the local university is working so closely with this community."