Community economic development in urban and regional regeneration: unfolding potential or justifiable scepticism?
In this paper I explore the scale of community economic development (CED) and the barriers impacting upon its evolution within an English region -- Yorkshire and The Humber. CED has been widely perceived by a range of policymakers as one mechanism through which to moderate the scale of economic decline in more disadvantaged localities. A number of funding sources, and in particular European Structural Funds, have increasingly allocated resources to creating and sustaining CED projects. But evidence from this region points to a very limited population of community businesses which undertake trading activities. Moreover, the sector is bedevilled by a series of constraints including those revolving around finance and partnership working. A number of policy developments could enhance the status and sustainability of CED projects, including a more structured approach towards the funding and operation of intermediary agencies. Even then, CED is likely to prove only a marginal player in economic reconversion. The scale of market failure in 'CED localities' points to the need for a more interventionist and collective approach to regeneration.
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