Our Work

At the heart of CLES’ work is our mission to achieve social justice, good local economies and effective public services for everyone, everywhere. Below are some of our key work areas.


Championing economies for all

CLES seeks to counteract inequalities and disadvantage by changing local economic development thinking and practice. Our approach challenges the orthodoxy focused on economic growth for a few, instead championing social growth and economies for all.

Key examples of our work include:


Anchors, community wealth building

CLES works to develop local ownership, and local supply chains and works with key public, commercial and social anchor institutions to facilitate this. We also undertake work to ensure that social value and well-being is embedded into the behaviour of all.

Key examples of our work include:


Making public services excellent

CLES works with local government and public services to ensure they are innovative, effective and efficient in fulfilling their role to serve communities and enhance places.

Key examples of our work include:


Creating great, resilient places

CLES has been at the international forefront of developing an understanding of resilience and offers strategic support and policy advice to local government as to how they build it.

Key examples of our work include:


Addressing poverty and disadvantage

CLES is at the cutting edge of thinking and implementing policies which build up public, social and commercial agency to address poverty and need. This is common thread throughout much of our work.

Key examples of work include:


Identifying and measuring what works

CLES measures the impact of policy and practice, identifying what works in creating and enhancing effective economic and social growth, and public services. This work also seeks to influence the behaviour of key decision-makers.

Key examples include: