What is a Development Trust?



Development trusts are community owned and led organisations which operate as community and social enterprises. They are involved in trading in goods or services and helping to regenerate and grow community owned  ‘assets’ and wealth in our communities and keeping it there.

Development trusts are part of a growing network of community owned enterprises and assets, in villages, towns, rural areas or cities, across Wales and the UK with the capacity to make a distinctive and powerful impact in their communities which continue to face economic and social exclusion.

Development trusts are organisations which are:-

  • Engaged in the economic, environmental and social regeneration of a defined area or community
  • Community based and owned
  • Building Sustainable Communities
  • Trading and delivering services, as community enterprises and growing community owned assets
  • Not for private profit
  • Independent, yet actively involved in partnerships and alliances between the community, voluntary, public and private sectors.

Development trusts, particularly those which are longer established, are often “community anchors”. This is a general term for organisations that are multi-purpose, community-led and based organisations. Community anchors can act as an ‘umbrella’ for a number of local organisations (giving them a stronger voice) and help everyone to work together to find solutions to community issues.

More information:

A very useful resource, created by our partners the Development Trusts Association Scotland, called “So you want to set up a Development Trust?” gives a lot more information, although in a Scotland context – download it here. Wales-based resources coming soon!

See our Members list to get a clearer idea of what a development trust might do.