Community Economic Development Plans

This policy lab explored how councils can effectively utilise community economic development planning.

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.

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