A one-day workshop on developing economic development approaches that deliver community priorities.

Community economic development (CED) is an approach to local economic development that is driven by a community’s social, environmental and economic priorities. It is shaped by those who live, work and run businesses and public services within that community.

A CED approach is for those with an interest in making a local economy function better for groups it doesn’t serve well, or for those with a specific challenge such as tackling local unemployment, improving energy efficiency or boosting local spend. It will support your community to shape their local economic future both strategically and practically.

CED takes into account social, environmental, and economic outcomes and recognises the links between the local, regional and national layers of the economy. Using a CED approach will enable you to build on the knowledge, experience and resources in your community, to identify and make the most of local economic opportunities.

This one-day workshop introduces the basic concepts of Community Economic Development (CED) and strong local economies. Aimed both at local community groups, and at local authorities or institutions with a regeneration or economic development remit, it introduces the key concepts of CED including economic approaches, community-led methods, and ways this approach can practically be undertaken in different contexts.


  • An understanding of the key underlying concepts of community led economic development, and strong local economies.
  • A shared understanding of the relationship between the wider economic, social and environmental outcomes a CED approach might  achieve, and how these connect to regional and national economic strategies and processes.
  • How the approach might apply in your area and the next steps in building a CED approach in practice.


All our workshops are practical and participatory. You are encouraged to bring real examples to the workshop for an opportunity to discuss these during the day. For group training, whether in-house or at our venue in London, we will ask for more information about your group’s specific challenges and learning objectives.

There will be exercises and action planning to help embed the learning and so you can move forward.


  • Exploring the characteristics of a strong local economy.
  • What makes different approaches to economic development different – and why certain stakeholders and decision makers choose specific approaches.
  • A basic understanding of some emerging approaches to local economic development that set out to address inequality, and how they differ e.g. Inclusive Growth, Inclusive Economies, Community Wealth Building, Social Economy.
  • The tensions between these approaches and commonly-used national and regional economic development approaches such as agglomeration, growth-led development.
  • What does a strong local economy looks like for your area?
  • Practical implementation of a CED approach.
  • Economic development interventions that might arise from a CED-led approach.


This workshop is for policy makers and practitioners

  • Within local community groups and organisations who want to take a lead in shaping their economies for the benefit of local communities.
  • Within local authorities or other regeneration or economic development institutions with an interest in economic development approaches that foster inclusive economies, participation and engagement, and community wealth building
  • As an ‘open training workshop’ it is for community members who may be interested in understanding how to engage in economic planning and decision making in their area.


Rachel Laurence, Director of Programmes and Practice, New Economics Foundation

Rachel has over 15 years’ experience working with organisations across the public, private and community sector to develop their strategy, practice and policy. Rachel leads NEF’s work on transforming the economy from the bottom up, in communities and places. Her expertise includes community economic development, regional political economy, and how these two areas connect.

Rachel’s current work encompasses research, development of new models and approaches, and strategic capacity building with communities, community organisations, local and regional government, local and large scale business. Her previous work included community development, welfare rights, and youth and community work as well as policy and practice development, for a range of organisations including Save the Children UK and the Manchester Refugee Support Network.

With a Masters in Social Policy, Rachel has delivered training to a wide range of audiences including community groups, local businesses, local authority officials, community members from diverse backgrounds, children and young people.



This workshop can be held for your group at our offices in London or, for an additional cost, at your site or venue.


For a workshop held at our London offices (it will usually cost more to deliver at your venue):

  • Half day workshop for up to 6 people: £950 – £1250. Contact us to discuss a firm price and date.
  • Full day workshop for up to 10 people: £1,250 – £1500. Contact us to discuss a firm price and date.

*All courses are subject to U.K. VAT. Fee includes refreshments and lunch as well as training materials.

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Training Programme
Strategic overviews for leaders and practical training for teams.

We offer tailored online and on-site training and briefings on SROI, Theory of Change, measuring social impact, commissioning for outcomes and social value, measuring local economic impact, community economic development, the social value of research, and more.

Clients include local authorities, universities, public health services, charities, community groups, membership bodies, and responsible businesses.

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