Community Economic Development

The Community Economic Development (CED) programme is an initiative designed for local community groups and organisations in England 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 identifying where they can place local contracts
  • 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

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

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.

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 dynamic and deliverable CED plan.

Why Should you be Involved?

“Rather than complaining about things, we’re getting on and doing something” Carolyn Loftus, member of Esk Energy Society, Yorkshire

Like Carolyn, CED will give you the means to get on and do something that will benefit your local economy. By working together as a community, those benefits can be felt where they are needed most, such as tackling unemployment, improving energy efficiency, boosting local spending and beyond.

We encourage you to apply for the CED programme if you want to make these kinds of changes happen in your community. You just need to be involved in an existing organisation – whether that’s a local community group, local business, parish council or any other local body.

How will it work?

Selected communities will be allocated an experienced adviser who will act as the main point of contact and guide you throughout the process of developing a well-supported, dynamic and deliverable local economic plan. A grant of £5,000 will be available to support the further development of your plan and you will have access to six days' specialist support. Find out more about the Grants & Support available.

 

About the programme

CED is being delivered by a partnership that includes Cooperatives UK, New Economics Foundation, Locality, Centre for Local Economic Strategies and Responsible Finance