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What is a Development Trust?


What is a Development Trust?

Development trusts are community owned and led organisations.

They use self-help, social enterprise and ownership of buildings and land, to bring about long-term social, economic and environmental benefits in their community.

They operate in both urban and rural areas, often in neighbourhoods which have experienced the worst economic decline. They are independent, but work with the public sector, private businesses, and with other community groups.

They are the 'anchors' in their communities, delivering services and facilities, finding solutions to local problems, and helping other organisations and initiatives succeed.


What do they do?

Local people set up development trusts to tackle local issues and to improve the quality of life in their community. As a result, development trusts become involved in a very wide range of activities - running a local shop and post office, developing play park and recreational facilities, managing a housing development, developing renewable energy projects, managing workspaces, setting up training programmes, running childcare or youth services, preserving the local heritage, restoring and conserving historic buildings - in short, anything and everything that might help build a vibrant and sustainable community.

Despite the diversity that is reflected in what they do, all development trusts are underpinned by a strong ethos of self-help and self-reliance and a belief in community regeneration through community owned enterprise and assets.
These are just some of the activities which development trusts are currently involved in:

Development Trusts NI is a model for doing business in a community led setting.



DTNI Staff

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