Our Story

The New Economy Centre at Selgars Mill is an immersive work and play campus for building a democratic economy. We empower communities and individuals with both the practical and strategic tools they need to create change.


A democratic economy works better for everybody. That’s why the New Economy Centre at Selgars Mill is working with practitioners and policymakers to increase democratic ownership in UK workplaces and communities. 


We’re a new generation campus providing practical and playful programmes, delivered by people working in the field, and designed to make specific interventions into today’s challenges. 

An immersive work and play space

Learning and action give people the best experience to develop more critical practice.

A place for provocation and politics

Movement building encourages more support for the democratic economy in local and national politics, from town councils to national political parties.

A 21st century civic square

Democratic enterprises are best placed to respond to systemic injustices.

Our history

The New Economy Centre is set up and run by Stir to Action, to be a centre of democratic creativity that supports meaningful interactions and ‘critical practice’ within and between new economy practitioner and policy cultures.

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Since 2012 Stir to Action's work has directly supported systems change through educational programmes and strategic economic development, focusing on creating the conditions to transform social inequality, climate change, and our wider political culture.


With six years of experience in designing and delivering capacity-building educational programmes, we jumped at the opportunity to set up the first in a new generation of residential training centres in the UK offering capacity-building training for communities, activists, and democratic enterprises.

Find out more about Stir to Action here

We are the new economy in one place

Our financial partnership model across both organisations creates access to our workshops through subsidies, and shares ethics and strategic aims with its funders, including Friends Provident Foundation, Lankelly Chase, Lush Foundation, Architectural Heritage Fund, Power to Change, Local Trust, Preston City Council, and many other social organisations. 


The New Economy Centre at Selgars Mill is part-funded by loans and grants and we work with organisations who share our core values and align with our mission.

A college of democratic creativity

We design personal, playful, and provocative events to bring together a broad constituency of democratic businesses and community groups with policy makers, to engage with one another in a space and manner atypical to sector-wide conferences and rural training centres. 


Our programmes and events explicitly focus on increasing democratic ownership in UK workplaces and communities.


  • Worker Co-operatives

  • Community Business

  • Employee Ownership

  • The Commons


We are a worker co-operative and not-for-profit enterprise ourselves, with all profits reinvested into the organisation's educational programmes. We’re committed to creating a new home for social movement building.


Our Team


Lara Kramer

Centre Manager

Concierge, curator, custodian-in-chief; the front face and welcoming arms of the centre, Lara will host you and help meet your needs on-campus.

Contact Lara find out more and book the campus


Debbie Leigh

Community Building

Connector, networker, grower, Debbie seeks to bring a diverse range of communities to the campus and plays host to various events.

Contact Debbie to find out more about working with us


Jonny Gordon-Farleigh

Programmes & Partnerships | Director

Our programme designer, creating short courses, accelerators, retreats and other residential experiences to support movement builders in the new economy.

Contact Jonny about running a course or becoming a campus partner


Pete Carne

Site Manager

Crafter, artisan, creator, with one arm stoking the boiler and the other lathing replacement door knobs, Pete keeps the lovely campus running.

Contact Pete about campus maintenance and improvements


Abby Gordon-Farleigh

Communications & Marketing | Managing Director

Solutioneer, wordsmith, communicator extraordinaire, Abby will make sure everyone knows about Selgars Mill.

Contact Abby to link up our channels


Adam Rich

Creative Lead | Director

Enabler, designer, bodger, Adam makes everything just a little bit prettier.

Contact Adam about the website and print materials


Sophie Sines

Centre Assistant

Proving that behind every great Centre Manager there is a great Centre Assistant, Sophie makes sure the flowers are popping, the pillows are floofed and the linens whiter than white.

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