Community Wealth Building: Harnessing the potential of anchor institutions

In April 2015, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) published ‘creating a good local economy: the role of anchor institutions’. Anchor institutions are organisations across the public, commercial and social sectors which have a significant stake in places as a result of the scale of their workforces and levels of spend, and the fact they are unlikely to leave. The publication focused upon the role of anchor institutions in utilising existing wealth within place to stimulate wider community wealth in the form of the local economy and for the benefit of residents; with a particular emphasis upon CLES’ collaborative action based work in Preston.

Over the course of the last year, CLES has continued to undertake an array of work around anchor institutions. This has included work in: the American cities of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Providence as reflected in ‘building a new local economy: lessons from the United States’; work across 11 cities in Europe; and continued work in Preston and across the UK.

Our historic and contemporary work around anchor institutions has led to a realisation that in times of economic uncertainty and austerity there is a host of unrealised potential within anchor institutions in places all across the UK which needs to be harnessed further. In this CLES 10 we therefore outline ten key steps to realising this potential.

CLES 10- Community Wealth Building- Harnessing the potential of anchor institutions