‘Poverty was entrenched in Preston. So we became more self-sufficient’

Matthew Brown believes few available jobs and rising inequality led Preston, like every other district of Lancashire, to vote to leave the EU in June. “People are angry with how the economy is structured. Brexit has happened because of a failure of the current economic model,” says the 44-year-old councillor. But he adds: “What we’re doing now is in response to that, it’s about how we can change local economies to work for people who feel excluded.”

He works closely with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies thinktank to implement his ideas and an EU network of cities that face similar challenges, though Brexit may put an end to that.

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