The University of New England Centre for Local Government commenced operation in March 1995 in the then Department of Continuing Education. Its primary purpose at this initial stage was the development and delivery of professional and vocational in-service programs for local government staff. The Centre then transferred to the Graduate School of Business Administration where it began to shift its focus towards more traditional academic programs. In particular, the Centre developed contributions for the MBA program. The restructuring of that school to focus exclusively on the MBA program saw the need for the Centre to once again relocate. This coincided with the Centre beginning to target research consultancy and competitive research grants in the local government area. With the change of focus to a stronger research orientation and a new management direction, the Centre is now located within the Faculty of Economics, Business and Law.
The Centre is self-funding as a result of income generated by its outside funded research and consultancy programs and professional development programs.