Partnerships are set up to run things, and their form will reflect the purpose of the project and the nature of the task. They may be formal or informal; may embrace all those contributing in some way or may refer only to those formally comprising a core group responsible for overseeing the management of the project. Some times the Partnerships Principle -collective of organizations and persons working closely together towards agreed goals-may be expressed in the form of a roundtable of stakeholders or as a forum with its associated structures and processes: possibly an executive board, a representative steering committee, topic groups and annual meetings. Generally the arrangements will be developed and agreed through discussion by key parties and ultimately through wider discussions with community groups and their representatives. Regeneration programmes will usually require the establishment of formal structures, but for smaller simpler tasks, informal structures may be appropriate. Three key factors should determine approach:
Partnership has the advantage of building commitment to projects from the beginning and helps to develop consensus building and shared decision-making. It provides clear image for community, springboard for wider networking, identifies clear structures and responsibilities for action. Partnerships often serve as a useful vehicle for attracting and bidding for funds. It also provides a framework of support for implementation, and encourages collective decision-making.