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About us

Ensuring positive local change

Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) is the UK’s leading independent charitable research and member organisation, with a focus on economic development, regeneration and place-making.   We think and do – promoting action and implementing new progressive economic activities which create positive environmental, health and social outcomes. In all our work the relationship between place, economy and people is central.

Established in 1986, CLES undertakes a range of activities including policy research, policy advice, consultancy, production of publications, training, events and an information and briefing service.

CLES works with the commercial, social, and public sector as well as local and national governments, across the UK and beyond. We are unique, and work with many partner organisations who share our passion for developing a better and more resilient story for our places, people and economies.

Our aims

  • champion a change in fortune for places and communities experiencing social and economic inequality and lack of opportunity.
  • challenge prevailing orthodoxies where they are seen to fail local places, economies and communities;
  • create a socially inclusive and environmentally just economic narrative for places
  • enhance place resilience,
  • influence and develop practice and seek to change behaviours of policy makers at all levels of the UK;
  • work with others who share our aims and values;
  • raise the standards of the practice of local economic development through learning;
  • provide networks and services aimed at promoting and supporting the above.

Meet the team

Learn more about our staff
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Work with us

We recruit throughout the year, get in touch
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