New website helps councils & communities build ‘good’ local economies

A new website went live this week aimed at helping councils and community organisations to build ‘good’ local economies.

Launched by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and the New Economics Foundation, with funding from the Friends Provident Foundation, it brings together case studies from across the UK on housing, finance, energy, procurement and commissioning and local economics.

Called ‘Building a Good Local Economy‘, the website sets out the powers and resources currently available to both local government and local communities to help them improve local housing provision, build up local energy supplies and create a thriving local economy.

Case studies include Homebaked, a bakery in the shadow of Liverpool football club that has become a model of community-led regeneration, and Manchester and Preston Councils’ work using local procurement budgets to build community wealth.

Neil McInroy and Matthew Jackson, chief executive and deputy chief executive of CLES, said: ‘The way in which we have done economic development in the UK over the last 30 years has been pretty orthodox – invest in a place and benefits with trickle-down to communities.

‘However, there are excellent examples of places challenging the norm and developing creative and localised approaches to economic development. This excellent new resource identifies these activities and is useful for anyone in local government or communities seeking to shift the way in which they think about their locality and how they undertake local economic development.’

The website is part of the Good Local Economies programme, run by CLES and Nef for the last two years, which this year has worked with five cities – Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol and Leeds – to help them activate and model new approaches to local economic development.

The website aims to become a comprehensive database of projects across the UK that are challenging the dominant approach to local development. If you would like your project to be included, contact Clare Goff.

Read the Good City Economies report here.

Link to the Building a Good Local Economy website here.