Amy Clancy

London boroughs drive forward progressive interventions in new municipalism  

Three London boroughs are tackling wealth extraction and extreme inequality in their local areas through a series of progressive interventions in new municipalism, according to a new publication due to be released on Tuesday 9th March by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES).

London is the fifth wealthiest city in the world by GDP and recent decades has seen staggering new levels of investment and wealth, yet 27% of its citizens live in poverty and homelessness continues to rise. In the London Borough of Islington, a quarter of children live in poverty.

Is Andy Burnham missing huge opportunity to invest in an energy supply company?

Today Carbon Coop and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) are revealing new research showing that in 2018 Greater Manchester’s public sector institutions spent over £75 million on their combined gas and electricity bills.

This is over five times the amount Manchester Council has set aside to tackle homelessness in the city, one of the council’s policy priorities. The University of Manchester alone spent over £15 million of this total.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all the team at CLES!

Please note that our office will be closed for Christmas from Friday 21st December 2018 until Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

In the meantime, we wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas, and look forward to a new year of pioneering progressive economics with you!

Economic think tank calls for restoration of public values

CLES, the UK’s independent progressive economics think and do tank, has today launched a paper calling for the restoration of public values in public services.

Restoring Public Values in Public Services outlines how a ‘private is best’ approach has led to a situation in which public services are too often outsourced to low quality, high cost providers who, in a race to the bottom, have compromised the dignity and safety of people who rely on these services.

Kirklees Council steps up the pace on local wealth building

Kirklees Council and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) are increasing the pace on creating an inclusive economy in Kirklees.

Kirklees Council and progressive economics think and do tank, CLES, have completed the first phase of an ambitious local wealth building project, which was announced in July, this year. The project began with an analysis of how much and where the council spends council taxpayers’ money, and was accompanied by conversations with public and private employers and the voluntary and community sector. This has led to a series of recommendations being produced.

CLES has moved office!

We have moved. The new office address of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies is:

Centre for Local Economic Strategies, 52 Oak Street, Swan Square, Manchester, M4 5JA

CLES’ office number has changed too. Our new number is 0161 832 7871.

Find us here

Centre for Local Economic Strategies appoints new Board Members

CLES, the UK’s leading, independent think and do tank realising progressive economics for people and place, has announced the appointment of Denise Hyland and Niall Bolger to its Board of Trustees.

Gill Steward, Chair of Trustees commented:

‘CLES is delighted that Denise and Niall are joining the Board. They have extensive experience and skills in economic development and both have a strong commitment and passion for the work of CLES. This is an important time for CLES –  our work on Local Wealth Building and new Municipalism is gaining influence across the UK and internationally, and the number of organisations developing different economic development models grounded in our research and supported by CLES grows day by day. Denise and Niall will play an important role in supporting the next step of the CLES journey.’

Denise Hyland has provided political leadership on the economy of the Royal Borough of Greenwich since 2007, when she was appointed as Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills. For four years, Denise served as Leader of the Council (May 2014 – May 2018). She has since returned as Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Apprenticeships.

New local wealth building project with Wirral Council

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has today announced a new local wealth building project with Wirral Council, which will see public sector services in the borough take steps to ensure more local public money is spent with local firms and employers.

Over the last 10 years, CLES has worked with a number of local authorities and wider anchor institutions such as universities, housing associations and the NHS, to undertake wealth building activities. Spanning procurement, employment, use of assets and deepening democracy, CLES’s work here aims to achieve wider social and economic value from anchor activity across each of the areas.

CLES at Party Conferences 2018


Local Wealth Building: The New Economic Movement

Monday 24th September, 12.30-14.30. Grace Suite 1, Hilton Hotel, Liverpool (outside secure zone)

Chaired by Neil McInroy , Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies

With Speakers:

  • Andrew Gwynne MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government
  • Cllr Asima Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development, London Borough of Islington
  • Cllr Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council
  • Hilary Wainwright, Founding Editor, Red Pepper; Fellow, Transnational Institute

International research project launched to explore role of healthcare institutions in local economies

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and The Democracy Collaborative (TDC) will today announce the launch of a joint research project to explore the role of the NHS within local economies across the UK.

Funded by the Health Foundation, the project will seek to identify the practical challenges and enablers of NHS institutions as ‘anchor institutions’ as well as developing a route map for progressing their role.

Inaugural Local Wealth Building Summit beckons a new era for UK economy

TODAY, the UK’s first Local Wealth Building Summit will take place, at the University of Birmingham, to showcase and galvanise the growing movement of people and places taking back control of their local economies.

The summit has been organised by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) in partnership with the University of Birmingham and Barrow Cadbury Trust, and will take place in Birmingham where a significant programme of Local Wealth Building has been underway, since 2016.

Press Release: Building an inclusive economy in Kirklees

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has today announced a new local wealth building project with Kirklees Council.

Kirklees joins a growing list of progressive councils and wider anchor institutions who are committed to building an inclusive economy. Work will now begin in earnest, focusing on the Council’s procurement and anchor activity to achieve greater local economic, social and environmental benefit.