Co-op Congress 2018

CLES will be hosting a session on Creating Wealthy Local Communities at this year’s Co-op Congress, looking at how co-operatives can help to create and develop resilient community-based local economies.

The theme of this year’s congress is Think Different. CLES will be sharing experiences from our work in dozens of areas across the UK, before CLES Chief Executive Neil McInroy will lead a panel discussion that explores how co-ops can make the most of opportunities in future.

CLES Chief Executive Neil McInroy on Jeremy Vine Show

CLES Chief Executive Neil McInroy appeared on the Jeremy Vine show, on Friday 8th June.

Neil talked about CLES’s efforts to develop an economy for everyone through our local wealth building work in towns and cities across the UK.

Neil said:

“CLES’s practical work on creating economies for all is gaining more mainstream media attention.  This is the result of a lot of hard work beneath the headlines and testament to the real changes being made to peoples lives and local places.”

CLES Associate Director Tom Lloyd Goodwin appointed Honorary Research Fellow

CLES Associate Director Tom Lloyd Goodwin has been appointed Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Manchester.

The role will enable Tom to retain a formal research link with the university, and provides the opportunity to link CLES’ work into progressive research agendas, particularly around public health, implementation science and knowledge mobilisation.

CLES named one of the North’s Top 50 for second year running

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has been selected as one of the top fifty most socially valuable organisations in the north of England.

Recognition has come from the sixth annual edition of Hannah Directory, a print publication, website and launch week of events celebrating the great stuff that people are doing in places in England’s north, and asking how even more of it can happen.

CLES Chief Executive Neil McInroy at Creating Resilient Economies workshop

CLES are working with Development Trust Northern Ireland to develop a Community Charter which will outline what needs to be done to create more resilient local economies across Northern Ireland.

The Charter will seek to explore what actions local authorities can take to ensure that money stays within the local economy, and aims to capture the views and aspirations of both third sector organisations and individuals on how each can contribute to their own local economy.

CLES Researcher Matt Todd to join GM Social Value Network Steering Group

CLES Researcher Matt Todd has been invited to join the Greater Manchester Social Value Network steering group, which is chaired by CLES Associate Matthew Jackson.

CLES have been involved in the Network since it was established in 2015. The Network will continue to influence stakeholders, policy and strategy at the Greater Manchester level and will be developing new training for organisations and individuals to use free of charge, which will complement their existing materials. The Network also run regular events and promote useful sessions across on their what’s on page.

GM Food Poverty Alliance Launched

CLES Researcher, Matt Todd, attended the launch of the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance on 8th May.

The event brought together interested parties from across GM, including those who have experience of food poverty.

The aim of the Alliance is to produce a Food Poverty Action Plan that will:

  • Reduce and prevent food poverty
  • Support communities to plan and adapt to the challenge of food poverty
  • Address structural issues that underlie food poverty, such as the benefits system and precarious and low-paid employment

CLES appoints new Associate Director

The UK’s leading progressive think and do tank, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), has appointed a new Associate Director.

Tom Goodwin joins CLES from The University of Manchester where he led research into health service delivery, including projects for the National Institute for Health Research and Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Economic Democracy in Action: Strategies for Local Economic Development conference in Portugal

CLES Researcher Matthew Todd will be participating in the Prout Research Institute of Portugal (PRIP)’s conference on Economic Democracy in action on May 8-9th.

The conference will be a meeting point for people and institutions who seek new solutions and socio-economic models focused on people and the planet, with local and global perspective. New examples of economic democracy, the development of resilient local economies, cooperatives, and social and environmental entrepreneurship will be presented.

Making Devolution Work for Women

On Friday 27th, CLES attended the first of two events centred around making GM devolution work for women.

The events form part of a wider piece of work, commissioned by the Fawcett Society, looking at women’s involvement in the Greater Manchester and Midlands devolution deals. The project combines gendered analysis of economic data, grassroots collaboration with local women and community organisations, and detailed policy analysis to enable disadvantaged women and girls to effectively make their voices heard about the public services that affect their lives.

CLES awarded a Power to Change research grant

CLES has been awarded a new grant by the Power to Change Research Institute.

The research is set to examine how community businesses contribute to inclusive growth in deprived communities. Over the next 12 months this research project will be looking at:

  • Why do community businesses grow/thrive in some deprived areas and not others?
  • Where community businesses do operate in deprived areas, to what extent are these initiated by or empower people living in poverty?
  • Are specific types of community business more likely to be initiated/empower people living in poverty?
  • What are the critical factors that allow community business to contribute to more inclusive growth and how should support be shaped to encourage more inclusive growth?

CTRLshift: an emergency summit for change

From 27-29th March, 150 progressive thinkers and doers from across the UK – and beyond – gathered in sunny Wigan, in response to a call for ‘an emergency summit for change’. Their aim? To build ‘a powerful coherent voice and a collective action plan for radical, positive change in the UK’. CLES was in attendance to listen, learn and share experiences of developing realisable alternatives that respond to the economic, social and environmental crises we face.

A large number of blogs have been written which provide useful overviews and interesting insights into the event – links to two can be found below. A full programme and partners list for CTRLshift can be found on their website.

CLES begins work on Islington Council’s Economic Strategy

CLES have begun work assisting the London Borough of Islington with their inclusive economic strategy this week.

The strategy will frame and advance a more economic and socially just future for all in Islington. This will focus on bringing new ideas and action on local wealth building, including new models of economic ownership and a ‘new politics’ of increased economic democracy: activities which Islington are already making progress on.

New: Community Wealth Building Timeline

The international movement around community wealth building is gaining momentum. For CLES, our work on this agenda has a long history, stretching back to 2005. We have been reflecting on this journey, and drawn together some of our key highlights into a short timeline that captures the work we have been involved in, our inspiration, and how our knowledge, skills and experience have developed over time.