The Community Economic Development (CED) programme is a new initiative designed for local community groups and organisations who want to take a lead in shaping their economies for the benefit of local communities.

If you belong to a community that wants to work towards seeing real economic change in your area – whether this is in food, housing, finance, energy or any other local economic opportunities – then the CED programme will set you on the right path.

The programme provides specialist support, advice and grant funding to help residents, local business and public sector organisations to work together to develop the best ideas to strengthen the local economy.

Whether that’s working on a strategy to promote local spending, exploring the possibility of developing a rural broadband co-operative, or working with key organisations to promote community-led housing, this programme wants passionate people who are committed to working together on a local economic plan that can deliver real local benefits.

What is Community Economic Development?

CED gives people the opportunity to shape how their economy develops. The approach recognises that local economies are characterised by the relationships and activities which everyone faces, based around where you live, work and play.

However, CED is best understood when it is being put into action. Examples include:

  • In West Dorset, rural communities have created local food links and new food enterprises.
  • In Haringey, money and jobs are being saved through a co-operative programme on energy efficiency.
  • In Preston, the local authority, police and health services are seeing where they can place contracts with locally owned businesses.
  • In Bristol, growing numbers of people have joined the local credit union, for local savings and a currency that can be cashed with local enterprise.
  • In the Black Country, a loan fund supports local businesses turned down by high street banks to survive and thrive.

The Community Economic Development programme

The CED programme will help 50 communities to develop their own community economic development plans. Each bespoke plan will identify practical opportunities to develop the local economy and boost engagement so the community are actively shaping the economic future of the local area.

>>What are the areas trying to achieve?

About the programme

CED is being led by Co-operatives UK and delivered in partnership with New Economics Foundation, Locality, Community Development Foundation and the Community Development Finance Association.

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