Developing anchor networks

Covid-19 is destabilising everything around us – jobs and livelihoods are being lost, businesses are collapsing and whole sectors are on the brink. As we now enter a new phase of local lockdowns, albeit with the national job retention scheme coming to an end and support for jobs and businesses ebbing away, economic and social hardship is set to worsen.

In order to urgently address this crisis, local government must act now by harnessing the collective power of local anchor institutions – such as hospitals, universities, colleges and housing associations – to tackle the unfolding economic and social crisis.

CLES’s work in localities such as Preston, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds has shown how anchors can harness their economic footprint to make significant interventions in the local economy, to support jobs and businesses.

With a specific focus on dealing with the impact of Covid-19, our work with the Birmingham Anchor Network is using collective anchor spend to target support for businesses in the most deprived areas of the city. We are also working to increase living wage employment, helping to repurpose jobs from vulnerable sectors such as hospitality into sectors such as health as care where more capacity is needed.

CLES is available to work with you to build and develop an anchor network focused on the Covid-19 rescue and recovery effort.

Our bespoke offer can offer support in the following areas:

  • assessment of individual anchor capacity to advance progressive strategies;
  • co-ordination and facilitation of network activity;
  • production of network action plan to utilise collective spend, employment and assets to address Covid-19 rescue and recovery;
  • a ‘community wealth builder in residence’ to co-ordinate and facilitate the adoption of anchor strategies across anchor networks.

If you would like to discuss the development of an anchor network in your area, please get in touch.

CLES has also developed packages of support for those at the front line of the economic reform process, drawing on our wealth of practice over three decades in all four nations of the United Kingdom. Find out more.