Across the EU, neighbourhoods have been the focus for achieving social cohesion and reducing social exclusion. Neighbourhood renewal and community involvement were central themes in the UK Labour government's urban policy. This article focuses on the challenge of community engagement given the heterogeneity of individuals and neighbourhoods. It uses the case study of a New Deal for Communities (NDC) partnership to explore the experiences of different women on an NDC board, including those from minority ethnic groups. The NDC in the case study provides optimism about the possibility of including diverse groups and people in neighbourhood governance, yet too little attention is still given at both national policy and neighbourhood levels to working politically and productively with concepts of ethnicity and gender.