Urban CLTs: from “impossible” to possible, happening and growing

Friday 07 September 2018


The Urban CLT Project, which was launched by the National CLT Network in 2014, has helped to build a credible and resilient movement of urban community land trusts, research has revealed.

Prior to 2014 the uptake and growth of CLTs in our towns and cities had been minimal and was far outweighed by rural CLTs. We created the Urban CLT Project to support their expansion, providing grants of £10,000 each to 19 urban CLTs and bringing them together to learn from experts and each other.

The final evaluation report, written by a team of independent academics, highlights the positive impact of the Urban CLT Project, which is most significantly demonstrated in the number of homes built. There were no CLT homes in urban areas when the project launched. The CLTs involved in the project have now built 72 homes and they have plans for a further 500 homes between them.

They have got the backing of their local communities as well and have built strong memberships - more than 5,000 members combined. Over 300 volunteers have also dedicated their time to run their CLTs too.


Read the full findings on the Urban CLT Project here.

The research was carried out by the universities of Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool and Sheffield Hallam.


Tom Chance, Director at the National CLT Network, said:

“We created the Urban CLT Project because we believe community land trusts can thrive in both rural and urban areas. The progress that has been made in some of the country’s major cities is a testament to this.

“The grants were relatively small but were able to have such a positive impact, covering important things like legal costs, community engagement activities or a staff post. Both London CLT and Leeds Community Homes were able to run hugely successful community share offers because of the grant, raising nearly £850,000 between them.

“What’s really fantastic is that the Urban CLT Project has created a legacy, particularly through the number of Enabling Hubs that has grown out of it - something we hadn’t predicted. It’s really wonderful to see the likes of Bristol, Liverpool and Leeds working to support new groups to succeed and inspiring others - the headway that is being made in Birmingham and Manchester is in part thanks to them and this project.”


The project awarded 19 grants of £10,000 to the following CLTS:

  • Ambition Lawrence Weston

  • Brighton and Hove CLT

  • Bristol CLT

  • Brixton Green

  • Granby Four Streets

  • Heart of Hastings

  • Homebaked CLT

  • Leeds Community Homes

  • Lewes CLT

  • Lincoln Birchwood

  • London CLT

  • Middlesbrough CLT

  • Naked House

  • Oxfordshire CLT

  • Somerset Co-Operative CLT

  • Thrift Soham

  • Truro CLT

  • West Kensington Gibbs Green

  • West Rhyl


The research was conducted by Dr Tom Moore, Professor David Mullins, Bingzi He, Matt Thompson, Cara Claassen and Tom Archer.


Posted in: Article Featured on Homepage, Research and opinion