This paper, published by Onward, is the culmination of two years’ research with communities across the UK. It explores the social fabric of places in the UK and makes some recommendations for policy-makers on how to support social fabric in local areas.

The researchers explored how people viewed ‘community’ and based on this they explored some measures that capture this ‘social fabric’ They found that ‘community’ was narrower and deeper than the literature previously thought: people view community as entirely local and place-based (narrower than previous research would suggest); the aspects of community that people value, or long for, are not merely social and civic, but also economic and institutional, ranging from jobs to transport connectivity to the quality of the town centre (deeper than previous research would suggest).

The index therefore is made up of five ‘threads’: Relationships, Physical Infrastructure, Civic Institutions, Economic Value and Positive Social Norms. Each thread equally incorporates three to five different stands, which are composed of multiple indicators, each representing a different statistical measure…..

Download our full Briefing Paper here.