The English Sites database (previously known as the Strategic Sites Database) was first launched in February 1998. At the time, it was created to fill a gap in the property/development/relocation market and was intended to be the first single source of information for prospective developers/occupiers/intermediaries, detailing large development sites available in England. The dataset was therefore designed as an English Partnerships' internet property database, with the core aim of attracting inward investment in support of the Government's wider regeneration objectives for the English regions. It recorded details of land, locations, property and facilities available within England. Through this database, thousands of registered users were able to access key information on more than 200 strategic land sites across the English regions.
The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.
Hardware: IBM (or compatible) PC.
Operating System: Windows NT.
Application Software: Microsoft SQL Server (Version 7); Microsoft ASP (Version 4.02.0788) and Microsoft IIS (Version 4).
User Interface: On-screen web forms with data keyed in by Departmental staff operating a PC and web browser. Note that the web front-end of the live database allowed public users to search for any strategic site in the database using a number of criteria. There were also a selection of 'Star Sites' specially selected based upon a variety of factors. Regional data was also maintained for all regions in England. More detailed information was available from the website for those who chose to register as an online user.
Logical structure and schema: The English Sites dataset operated as an interactive database with a web front-end (www.englishsites.com). The original dataset as transferred to NDAD comprised a Microsoft SQL Server (14 tables); 13 of these tables were also transferred to NDAD in comma separated variable format.
Copyright for the English Sites dataset and its related dataset documentation is held by English Partnerships.
Immediate source of acquisition:
In 2010 the United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets
Originally transferred from English Partnerships in 2006. The United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) then held the dataset until 2010 when it was transferred to The National Archives (TNA).
Selection and destruction information:
The English Sites Database dataset was selected under section 18.104.22.168 of TNA's acquisition policy, relating to promotion of urban redevelopment and regeneration.
This series will not accrue.
The English Partnerships website, 'Projects and Sites' section, provides an overview of the portfolio of strategic sites comprising approximately 6,000 hectares of land. The sites are the foundation for activity in site remediation and as part of the development of new and sustainable communities in England. Users may view information about the status of key projects and sites by clicking on the A to Z list or the interactive map.
Unpublished finding aids:
Extent of documentation: 5 documents, Dates of creation of documentation: 1999 - 2005
Administrative / biographical background:
The English Sites database was managed and updated on a regular basis by English Partnerships, the UK Government's regeneration and development agency. In addition to working with partners on major initiatives such as internet-based property resources like www.englishsites.com, English Partnerships was allocated responsibility for four key areas of activity: Sustainable Regeneration, Housing, Strategic Brownfield Redevelopment and Best Practice.
English Partnerships played an active role in working closely with major public and private sector partners to deliver the Government's wider regeneration objectives, as outlined in the Sustainable Communities Plan. The Plan was launched in 2003 and became a key policy of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in guiding its regeneration and departmental objectives (for example, aiming to deliver sustainable communities in urban and rural areas, tackling housing supply issues, and addressing the quality of public spaces in England). Internet-based property resources such as English Sites therefore played a vital role in disseminating key information in support of regeneration efforts across the English regions. Note that English Partnerships, as a government agency, was also committed to the objectives outlined in the Modernising Government white paper (March 1999); and so the English Sites database was recognised as an important development in that it became a mechanism for delivering services electronically.
The English Sites website (www.englishsites.com) was specifically used as a single up-to-date portal or information service for companies who wished to easily navigate and locate relevant information about the best new locations in England which were offering potential expansion and investment opportunities. The dataset also sought to provide landowners with a new way of marketing their sites nationally or internationally. Through this database, thousands of registered users were able to access key information on strategic land sites throughout England.
The database was closed down in October 2004 following a shift in the focus of English Partnership's work towards provision of sustainable communities.
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