Post May 1997 the conventional approaches to regeneration strategies in Britain have focused upon establishing local partnerships between - not only service providers and potential employers - but also local community-based groups. Neighbourhoods or 'localities'are now seen as the arenas within which coalitions of local interest groups meet to identify needs, to allocate resources and to engage with local communities. This paper will examine the assumptions behind such approaches and will explore the sites of conflict and the ways in which local managers attempt to reconcile differing aspirations and expectations. The paper draws upon a series of interviews with participants in regeneration initiatives in Manchester, and will suggest that regeneration managers occupy a significant place in arbitrating between different interest groups. In particular, the role of multi-agency working will be explored and the ways in which professionals (from a variety of occupations) seek to negotiate common terms of reference and understanding.