We are the Deep Place Centre, a think tank dedicated to the economic regeneration of disadvantaged communities.


Connecting people to their communities

Our Mission

We have developed our practice by working with government, third sector and private sector partners and through inclusive work with community members and organisations. The Deep Place method addresses the severity of the challenges faced in disadvantaged communities, but also recognises the opportunities that exist locally to help generate and provide employment experiences and skills development.

Our Approach

The Centre exists to develop, promote and support the Deep Place approach: which is to achieve social, economic, environmental and cultural sustainability.

Promote Values

We seek to build a community of people and organisations that want to develop stronger local economies, and work towards social justice and equitable outcomes. We believe the Deep Place approach provides an important contribution to achieving lasting change. Deep Place is fundamentally place-based, and we want to engage and work with others who are interested in using this approach to work towards these values.

Develop Approach

Our place-based method combines a detailed understanding of communities and their wider inter-connectedness through a whole place approach. Deep Place is aware of wider, sometimes global contexts, and we often draw on international examples of best practice. We believe that the most sustainable futures can be best secured by a better understanding of the challenges faced, and opportunities presented, in each community or location.

Support Change

We are always keen to talk with people and organisations that are seeking to achieve positive change. We are continually developing our approaches to how we engage with you. If you would like to be kept up to date with Deep Place and engage with our discussions and progress please email us your contact details. If you would like more practical help, we are able to provide a range of support activities to assist your development and delivery of the Deep Place approach.

We believe that unemployment and economic inactivity are the fundamental causes of poverty.


Professor Dave Adamson OBE

Professor Dave Adamson OBE


Dave Adamson led the Programme for Community Regeneration at the University of Glamorgan for 12 years and has worked with key organisations such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Welsh Government. He was the founding CEO of the Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales (CREW). Professor Adamson has considerable policy and strategy development experience, including a secondment to the Welsh Government to develop the Communities First programme. He has been a member of five Ministerial Advisory Groups and worked extensively with local government. Professor Adamson writes internationally on a wide range of social issues that arise from poverty and related patterns of social exclusion. He is solution rather than problem focused and believes that recovery of even the most challenged communities is possible

Dr Mark Lang

Dr Mark Lang


Mark Lang is an accomplished researcher who has held a number of key roles in the public, private and voluntary sectors over the last 15 years, including working for six years as a Political Advisor at the National Assembly for Wales. Prior to becoming Co-Director at the Centre for Deep Place Strategies, Dr Lang most recently worked as Associate Director (Policy) at Manchester based, Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES). Before this he was Senior Researcher at the Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales (CREW), and he has significant experience in policy development and evaluation at local, regional and national levels. Dr Lang has held a number of public and voluntary service roles, including Chair of the First Minister’s Advisory Panel that evaluated the work of the Public Policy Institute Wales, member of the Welsh Government Place Leaders Group, and Chair of Glandŵr Cymru – The Canal and River Trust in Wales.

Over 35 Years of Experience

Dave Adamson and Mark Lang have extensive experience of working on difficult social policy challenges, both as academics and practitioners. They have worked with central and local government and with a wide range of third sector and community sector partners.

They have combined their experience in the development of the Deep Place method and bring expertise on community development, regeneration, local economic development, policy design and strategic planning together with practical skills in statistical analysis, evaluation methods, literature review and community engagement techniques.

The Centre also has a number of experienced associates we collaborate with on areas such as urban design, project financing and other specialist skills required within specific projects.


We believe that unemployment and economic inactivity are the fundamental causes of poverty. Our strategies primarily focus on creating new patterns of employment in existing and innovative areas of economic activity.

Distributed Economy

We use the concept of the ‘distributed’ economy to demonstrate that the majority of economic activity takes place where people live, in their community, its institutions and small to medium size local businesses. Based on the 'foundational' economy approach developed by the Manchester Business School, this approach identifies ways of growing employment where it is most needed to compliment more conventional business district and agglomerated economic development approaches.

Local Solutions

We believe that solutions to help regenerate post-industrial and economically marginalised localities can be found among the strengths and assets of local people and their environment. Solutions emerge from heritage and landscape assets, from physical resources and from unique economic and cultural patterns. All these can be drawn upon to encourage and apply environmentally sustainable and positive local change.

We believe that solutions to help regenerate post-industrial and economically marginalised localities can be found among the strengths and assets of local people and their environment.

Articles & Research



Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your project or the Deep Place approach.