What is a Development Trust?

Development Trusts are independent not-for-profit organisations which aim to respond to local needs. They are intended to bring about social, economic and environmental benefits to the communities they serve. They are regarded as community enterprises which means that they :

–Are community-led organisations

–Adopt an enterprise approach to achieve philanthropic and social benefits

–Trade for social purpose, with surpluses reinvested for community benefit

–Seek community ownership of buildings, land and other assets to build business capacity and achieve community goals

–Actively create partnerships and alliances between the community, voluntary and private and public sector but avoid dependency on any other organisation or funding source


Development Trusts are bespoke to their circumstances.

There is a National Development Trust Association which:

–Recognises the diversity that exists within communities and regards this as a source of strength

–Values sustainable regeneration which addresses the economic, environmental and social needs of a community, and involves the creation of wealth for communities by communities

–Believes in encouraging and supporting people to take responsibility for their own communities

–Stands for accountability to local people as well as collective action and partnership.