Institutions collaborate to address the impact of Covid-19 on the Birmingham economy

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The Birmingham Anchor Network – which represents seven of the City’s largest institutions, a combined workforce of over 50,000 people and budget of over £5bn – today release their Action Plan for response to the impact of Covid-19 on the Birmingham economy. This co-ordinated response believed is to be the first of its kind anywhere by a network of anchor institutions.

The Birmingham Anchor Network Action Plan builds on two years of work developing the Network by CLES, funded by the independent charitable foundation for socially just change, Barrow Cadbury Trust. Last year the members of the Network committed to progress joint action to utilise their spending power, workforces and land and assets to build a more inclusive and equitable city economy.

As well as setting out the immediate steps that the anchor institutions in the Network will undertake to address the economic and social impact of the pandemic, the Action Plan has within it a number of bold steps that will lead to long term reform of the Birmingham economy. This includes exploring how to link existing opportunities for employment in the health sector to residents who are facing redundancy due to Covid-19 and how locally-owned construction firms can access new work from the backlog in housing association building repairs created by the lockdown.

Birmingham Anchor Network Co-ordinator, Conrad Parke, said of the Plan:

It is impressive and inspiring to see how, even in the middle one of the greatest crisis Birmingham has ever had to face, seven of the largest institutions are still prioritising how to work together for the greater benefit of Birmingham’s residents”.

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, Cllr John Cotton, added:

“Working together for the people of Birmingham will be more important than ever as we come out of this crisis and we’re determined to build on the work of the Anchor Network. We need an inclusive recovery to ensure that people in communities right across this city are not left behind as we rebuild after COVID.”

 Pete Richmond, Chief Executive of Bournville Village Trust, said:

  “As Birmingham moves from responding to the coronavirus to the recovery phase, it is even more important for organisations in the City to be working together to respond to the economic downturn and mitigate against the impacts of this on communities across the City. We are very pleased to be working with members of the Anchor Network to do just that, co-ordinating a response together that will start with immediate action but that we hope will lead to long term reform for the Birmingham economy.”