The second round of the Community Economic Development (CED) programme is designed to support communities who want to work towards seeing real economic change in their area.

This year’s programme is looking to support 20 new groups that want to take a lead in shaping their economies for the benefit of their community. Alongside this, we will be working with ten communities who participated in the programme last year, helping them ensure their plans become a reality.

Groups participating in this year’s programme will receive a package of grants and support to help them produce a dynamic and deliverable local economic plan.


What is Community Economic Development?

‘Community economic development’ or ‘CED’ describes a process of economic development within a specific geographic area, to make the economy in that area work well for that community. The process is led by people living, working and running businesses in that area.

As an approach, it tackles environmental, social and economic issues as being interconnected, and recognises the importance of connections between the local, regional and national layers of the economy. It builds on the knowledge, experience and resources in that community, to identify and maximise the local economic opportunities available.

Within our use of CED we emphasise three important attributes:

  • The overall focus is the economy. CED is all about reshaping the underlying economic system of a place, rather than working on improving people’s capacity to live well within the existing environment.
  • The economy is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Rather than emphasising economic growth as the end goal of local economic development, a CED approach is interested in economic development, which generates human wellbeing within environmental limits, at a community level.
  • It’s led by the community. In CED, the power to drive the change rests within the community of residents, local businesses, local service providers, community groups and voluntary sector organisations with a direct stake in the economic health of that area.

To learn more about the concept of ‘community economic development and what it may mean for your community’, read our full introductory guide here.

About the CED Programme

This year’s programme extends and builds on the first year of activity, funded by Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) and delivered by a partnership of Co-operatives UKNew Economics Foundation, Locality, Centre for Local Economic Strategies and Responsible Finance.

The first year’s programme successfully supported 49 local community groups and organisations to develop a bespoke plan which identified practical opportunities to improve the economic health of their area.

Whether their focus was local food, housing, finance, energy or employment, the process of producing the CED plan helped to boost local engagement and supported the community to actively shape the economic future of the local area. The video below gives an insight into the aims of the groups that participated in the first programme:

This time round, we will be offering a similar package of support to 20 new communities who also want to take a lead in shaping their economies for the benefit of local communities. The scheme will run from September 2016 to June 2017 – when you will complete your CED plan.


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