• Lead Member Birmingham City Council
  • Participating Members Birmingham City Council, Co-operative Futures, Croydon Council, Gloucester Labour Group, Milton Keynes City Council, Sunderland City Council
  • Year 2022
  • Status Policy Labs

Principles met

  • We will develop systems that enable citizens to be equal partners in designing and commissioning public services and in determining the use of public resources.
  • We will promote community-based approaches to economic development that focus on supporting the creation of jobs, social enterprises and other businesses and providing an environment for co-operative and mutual enterprises to thrive.
  • We will embrace innovation in how we work with local communities to drive positive change.
  • We will capture and ‘expand’ the experience and learning from individual projects and approaches in order to encourage broader application of co-operative principles within individual member Councils and across the Network.
  • We will support the development of a framework and criteria for social value, giving substance to the concept and supporting Councils with the tools to ensure better local social and economic outcomes.
  • In exploring new ways of meeting the priority needs of our communities we will encourage models, such as co-operatives and mutuals, which give greater influence and voice to staff and users. in designing and commissioning public services and in determining the use of public resources.

About the project

Community economic development planning or CEDP is a process of economic development within a specific geographic area, to make the economy in that area work well for that community.

Within CEDP three important attributes are emphasised:

  1. The overall focus is the economy. Community economic development is all about re-shaping the underlying economic system in a place, rather than working on improving people’s capacity to live well within the existing environment.
  2. 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 CEDP approach is interested in economic development which generates human wellbeing within environmental limits, at a community level.
  3. It’s led by the community. In CEDP, the power to drive the change rests within the community of residents, local businesses, local service providers including councils, community groups and voluntary sector organisations with a direct stake in the economic health of that area.

The case studies outlined in this report demonstrate the value to Local Authorities of working in co-operation with communities to undertake community economic development planning.


Karolina Medwecka-Piaseck
European Affairs Manager
Birmingham City Council