About the College >> Tim Crabtree

Tim Crabtree

Senior Lecturer – MA Economics for Transition

Email: tim.crabtree@schumachercollege.org.uk

Tim Crabtree has been involved in “new economics” for 30 years, after studying economics at Oxford University and then working for the New Economics Foundation for 5 years. He has experience in policy development, local economic development and business advice, and was the co-founder of a number of a successful social enterprises including the Wessex Reinvestment Trust group and Dorset-based Local Food Links Ltd – where he was responsible for developing farmers’ markets, food festivals, community gardening projects, a specialist workspace (the Centre for Local Food), a vocational training programme for young people and a school meals catering service, employing 25 people, which now supplies 33 schools with a turnover in excess of £1 million every year.

After stepping down as chief executive of Local Food Links, Tim then worked for Cardiff University, researching the future direction of the community food sector. He continues to work with one of the Wessex Reinvestment Trust social enterprises - Wessex Community Assets - which co-ordinates the UK's largest programme of community land trust housing, as well as supporting community share issues in areas such as renewable energy and local food.

Tim recently set up Dorset Community Energy, a community renewables enterprise, established in partnership with Dorset County Council. It has recently undertaken two successful share issues, raising £0.5 million to install PV solar panels on 10 schools and 4 community halls - they will save around £600,000 in electricity costs over the next 20 years, while share-holding members benefit from the feed-in tariff and tax incentives.

Tim has worked with international organisations such as the Resource Centre for Philippine Concerns and the International Institute for Environment and Development, for national organisations such as the New Economics Foundation, and for South West based organisations such as the Bristol & Avon Community Enterprise Network, Dorset Community Action and the SW Protected Landscapes Forum. He was a founder Director of the UK Social Investment Forum. Tim has a particular interest in reflective practice, both in the field of economics and also in mindfulness related disciplines (meditation, aikido and shiatsu) which he has engaged with since 1984.


Crabtree, T., McRobie, G., Roberts, A. (1992) Towards a New Sector: Macro-Policies for Community Enterprise London: new economics foundation & Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Crabtree, T., Pearce, J., Reynolds, H. (2000) COMMENT NVQ – Business Planning for Community Enterprises Exeter: Community Enterprise Unit

Crabtree, T., Conaty, P., Paterson, R. (2002) Wessex Reinvestment Trust: Market Feasibility Study & Outline Business Plan Salford: University of Salford

Crabtree (2005) Support for Social Enterprise in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Taunton: Co-operative Group & RISE

Crabtree, T., Keyte, R., Paterson, R. (2008) Financial Mechanisms Research Project, Taunton: Wessex Community Assets

Crabtree, T. (2010) Local Food Links: The First Ten Years. London: SUSTAIN

Crabtree T., Fry, R. (2011) Re-shaping. London: Arts Council EnglandJohanisova, N., Crabtree, T., Frankova, F. (2012) Social enterprises and non-market capitals: a path to degrowth?, Journal of Cleaner Production.

Crabtree, T., Morgan, K., Sonnino, R. (2012) Prospects for the Future: Scaling up the Community Food Sector, Woodstock: Plunkett Foundation

Crabtree, T. (2013) Supporting woodland economies in AONBs: A multi-stakeholder, social forestry approach. Northleach, Glos: National Association of AONB’s


Local Initiatives to Build a New Economy, Schumacher College, 2012