Mainstreaming Community Economic Development is a major strand of Localise West Midlands‘ work that explores and supports an economic development approach based on making the most of local enterprise, existing business supply chains, networks, community assets and human potential – for better shared prosperity and better places.

Research from Localise West Midlands in 2012/2013 demonstrated the significant benefits of more locally-owned economies in creating successful, socially just and diverse places, and highlighted how a locally-focused approach can be fully integrated into conventional economic development.

LWM then secured funding from Barrow Cadbury Trust and others to continue this work from November 2013 to October 2014 in a number of ways:

  • Engage and discuss the opportunities offered by Mainstreaming Community Economic Development with project managers, policy makers and politicians
  • Develop an informal learning network of practitioners to provide the opportunity for shared learning and wider implementation
  • Work with partners to bring community economic development into the mainstream by testing its feasibility and ease of implementation in the West Midlands – including exploring collaboration opportunities with West Midlands retrofit SMEs, and working with the Right Care Right Here initiative in Birmingham and Sandwell.
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of the mainstreaming community economic development approach and the implications for future learning and implementation. This will include action research with organisations from the private, social and public sectors.

We are now working on a third phase of the project, also funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, aimed at working directly with specific groups and projects on this agenda, More can be found on our website below.

These Localising Prosperity webpages provide a resource for all types of organisation to explore the potential of this approach.

If you are interested in finding out more or getting involved in this work, for example, becoming a case study or joining one of our networks, or if we can help you develop ideas, please get in touch:

See the Mainstreaming Community Economic Development project webpages on LWM’s site, including links to the initial research.

Email us or call us on 0121 685 1155
Twitter: @localisewm #mainstreamingced

What people say about Mainstreaming CED

Your work is very relevant to what I do because I’m fundamentally motivated by generating economic growth from localities outwards: I think it’s a better, healthier and more democratic way to organise society. Encraft has always effectively assumed localised economic development is the future: it’s part of our DNA. – Matthew Rhodes, Managing Director of private sector consultancy Encraft

I just wanted to send a quick note of congratulations for the results of your Mainstreaming CED report.  Even though you mention in the paper that CED seems more developed in the US and Canada, sometimes an outside eye has a better perspective.  We need more of this kind of thorough and incisive thinking on the potential and limitations of CED.  Bravo. Michael Toye, Executive Director of the Canadian CED Network

This report illustrates what we see every day: our economy is too centralised, with many unable to influence, participate or benefit from its rewards. Attempts to localise are frustrated by patchy policy interventions, top-heavy decision-making, and an uneven playing field: larger companies set the agenda – smaller companies must adapt. The report draws on local examples to demonstrate that organisations of different sizes and scopes can collaborate to develop localised economies. A must read. Claire Spencer, sustainability activist, Birmingham

What an amazing document… such an important job, and I’m going to return to it. David Boyle, new economics foundation

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