Development Trusts are organisations operating in the United Kingdom that are:
community based, owned and led
engaged in the economic, environmental and social regeneration of a defined area or community
independent but seek to work in partnership with other private, voluntary, and public sector organisations
self-sufficient or aiming for self-sufficiency, and not for private profit.
There is no set form of legal structure, and a development trust may be registered as a company limited by guarantee, a community interest company, or an industrial and provident society. Many register as charities.
The activities undertaken by development trusts are various and include:
running the local shop and post office
developing play park and recreational facilities
managing a housing development
developing renewable energy projects such as wind farms
setting up training programmes.
They are informed by a belief that community regeneration that is achieved through community-owned enterprise is the way to build strong and sustainable communities.