New local wealth building project with Wirral Council

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has today announced a new local wealth building project with Wirral Council, which will see public sector services in the borough take steps to ensure more local public money is spent with local firms and employers.

Over the last 10 years, CLES has worked with a number of local authorities and wider anchor institutions such as universities, housing associations and the NHS, to undertake wealth building activities. Spanning procurement, employment, use of assets and deepening democracy, CLES’s work here aims to achieve wider social and economic value from anchor activity across each of the areas.

Cllr Janette Williamson, cabinet member for finance and resources, said:

“We all want to help create jobs, prosperity and local wealth in every area of our business.

We’re having some real success. We’re seeing local employers grow and win new business, we’re seeing more businesses relocate or start up in Wirral. The developments through Wirral Growth Company will see many more new businesses, jobs and opportunities.

Our job now is to make sure the surge in the local economy is enjoyed by our residents. These new jobs, these new opportunities, must be felt by the people who already live in Wirral. We’ve seen the success from places such as Preston where they’ve launched this kind of thing, and we believe we can do an even better job in Wirral.”

Wirral joins a growing list of progressive councils and wider anchor institutions who are committed to building an inclusive economy. Work will now begin in earnest, focusing on the Council’s procurement and anchor activity to achieve greater local economic, social and environmental benefit.

Neil McInroy, Chief Executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies said:

“Wirral is a great place with rich traditions, fantastic assets, but one that needs a reset to address the problems it has. So we at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies,  are excited that Wirral is working with us to join dozens of localities in the Local Wealth Building Movement. In doing so, Wirral has not only the chance to unlock a different kind of economy; one that truly works for people and place, but also to act as a beacon for the rest of the Liverpool City Region to follow.”

Local wealth building in Wirral will focus initially on procurement to help invest more of the Council’s current spend inside the local economy. It will also involve speaking to other local anchors such as the College, Housing Association and big local businesses about their appetite to work together to build local wealth and improve well-being.