1998 - Prime Minister Tony Blair introduced a national strategy for neighbourhood renewal - 'Bringing Britain Together'. He said "Experience shows that success depends on communities themselves having the power and taking responsibility to make things happen. A new approach is long overdue. It has to be comprehensive, long-term and founded on what works".
April 1999 - The South West Rural Development Agency was established to drive the region's economy. Funded by the Government, the Agency was responsible for providing regional strategic leadership in economic development and for co-ordinating national programmes at regional and local levels.
Early 2000 - The Government encourages public agencies to develop regeneration initiatives to tackle issues being faced by market towns and the surrounding rural areas.
July 2000 - the community based regeneration initiative was launched by the South West of England Regional Development Agency - the Market and Coastal Towns Initiative (MCTI).
2002 - The Swanage Town & Community Partnership (STCP) applied to the Countryside Agency for MCTI status. At the same time, as the STCP was not sure if any funding would become available, the decision was also taken to apply for funding for a 'Parish Plan'. In October 2002, the STCP submitted the Parish Plan intent form at the same time the STCP wrote the draft MCTI Expression of Interest. By November 2002, the STCP had been given draft approval by the Countryside Agency to submit a Parish Plan application. The proposed timetable was for the start date of February 2003 and final report by January 2004.
2003 - Doubts were raised as to whether the STCP should go ahead with Parish Plan and the MCTI. Funding for the MCTI would be up to £50,000 whilst for the Parish Plan only £5000. The STCP agreed to develop the Parish Plan application whilst waiting for the MCTI funding to be agreed. The Parish Plan data would then be used as baseline consultation for the MCTI. By March the STCP had been informed that the South West Regional Development Agency had been overwhelmed with applications for MCTI status and that Swanage was one of 15 towns on hold.
2004 - Purbeck District Council (PDC) introduce the Beacon Mentoring Scheme to Swanage and the STCP. Swanage is 'twinned' with Councils from Lincolnshire and Caradon which have been chosen because of the skills they can bring to the community planning process. This scheme started in July and finished in December. A Beacon Visioning day was held at the Purbeck House Hotel in November where over 60 people attended. The data obtained was fed into the Parish Plan process.
Parish Plan work started and by November the STCP was also informed that MCTI funding would be available.
2005 - Parish Plan work draft report presented to STCP but more work is required.
An MCTI induction meeting is held in April and plans made for a 'Bringing it all Together' workshop in September. The newly formed MCTI Working Group go out to tender for Consultants to deliver the MCTI Healthcheck and to pull all the data collected so far into the MCTI Plan for Swanage.
2006 - April: Consultants on-b0ard and briefed. July: the Healthcheck completed. August: Consultants working on the the Swanage Strategic Plan. A Public Consultation on the draft plan planned for October with planned launch date of Spring 2007.
May 2007 - Swanage Strategic plan launched and circulated to all households.