Ted Cantle is the UK’s leading authority on community cohesion and intercultural relations. He established the Institute of Community Cohesion and the iCoCo foundation to build on this work and to develop policy and practice on interculturalism and community cohesion and created and chaired a new UK National charity in 2017 to build the capacity of this sector, see: Belong the Cohesion and Integration Network

In August 2001, Ted Cantle was appointed by the Home Secretary to Chair the Community Cohesion Review Team and to lead the review the causes of the summer disturbances in a number of northern towns and cities. The ground breaking Report –known as ‘the Cantle Report’ – was produced in December 2001 and made around 70 recommendations. The concept of ‘community cohesion’ was subsequently adopted by the UK Government and many of the interventions which it spawned have been used by local communities in this country and around the world. Community cohesion programmes have succeeded in reducing tension in local communities by promoting cross cultural contact, developing support for diversity and promoting unity.  Cohesion also continues to tackle inequality and the prejudice and discrimination which underpins it. (Ted’s book Community Cohesion: a New Framework for Race and Diversity) provides a historical background and review of current policy and practice.

He then developed the concept of interculturalism to provide a theoretical background to community cohesion and as an alternative to multiculturalism which he saw as holding back more fluid and changing patterns of identity and creating divisions. His book Interculturalism: The New Era Of Cohesion and Diversity is also published by Palgrave.

Over the last ten years or so, Ted has led the development of new techniques, practical guidance and promoted good practice. He has worked with local authorities, the voluntary sector, schools, governmental departments as well as the business sector and other agencies.

More recently, Ted has been responsible for developing the idea of ‘interculturalism’ for the new era of globalisation and super-diversity. This is the subject  of his new  book – Interculturalism: The New Era of Cohesion and Diversity


Political Reform 

Ted has now begun to focus on the need for political reform, as a prerequisite for cohesion. In his recent review of the ‘Coming of Age of Cohesion at 21’ (see publications, Ted pointed to the lack of trust and support for the political process and politicians themselves – and the way that the political system and culture was fuelling divisions.

This is a developing area of work.

Ted is not a member of any political party and maintains an independent position. Having canvassed a number of politicians from different parties, he has been delighted to find that the new True and Fair ||Party is very willing to consider the reforms he is advocating, and has already set out similar ideas. However, politicians form other parties seemed very reluctant to even consider them and have a clear interest in trying to maintain the status quo.


Environment campaigner

Ted is also passionate about the environment and continues to champion environmental causes, especially those focused on tackling climate change. Ted set up and chaired and is currently a Patron, of Sustainability First, which is particularly focussed on energy management techniques. He was a member of the Board of the Environment Agency for England and Wales (from 2000 to 2008) and Deputy Chairman (2005 to 2008). Ted led the Environment City bid for  Leicester City Council in the late 1980s and the Nottingham Declaration on climate change in 2000, which was subsequently adopted by just about all local authorities in the UK and has now spread to other countries.

Other stuff

In over 30 years in public service, Ted has held a wide range of senior positions at national and local level focussing, in particular, on urban regeneration and key social and environmental problems. Mr. Cantle was the Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council between 1990 and 2001 and previously Director of Housing in Leicester City Council) and in Wakefield MDC and Under Secretary at the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. He has written extensively on housing and urban regeneration issues. Ted has also worked in both the private and health sectors.

He successfully led the development of the £25 million Nottingham National Ice Centre from inception to completion and, as a consequence, was asked to lead the redevelopment of Nottingham Castle – a £35 million scheme to create a national visitor attraction. However, along with one in five such attractions, the Castle was unable to attract visitors due to the Covid19 pandemic and had to briefly close but has since re-opened (though still awaiting the completion by Nottingham City Council of some previously agreed features) . During this time, Ted was  chair of the Nottingham Castle Trust and will be setting out his experiences in this role in due course . He is also visiting professor at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham and has honorary doctorates from Oxford Brookes and Portsmouth Universities.

He was awarded the CBE in 2004 and appointed as Deputy Lieutenant in the same year.

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Community Cohesion: A New Framework for Race and Diversity Published by Palgrave Macmillan. Updated Edition 2008.

Interculturalism: the new era of cohesion and diversity  Published by Palgrave Macmillan. September 2012.