Local Wealth Building in Birmingham and Beyond: a new economic mainstream
This 2018 report distils learning from ten years of work across the UK and charts a course for a future in which local wealth building is the mainstream of local economic development. It details work with six Birmingham Anchor Institutions including the City Council, the University of Birmingham, the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, hospital, housing providers and further education colleges.
Local Wealth Building is a new approach to economic development that addresses the failure of the current agenda to generate significant benefit for local economies and people. Born out of a frustration with ‘development as usual’ approaches, Local Wealth Building provides a practical framework for generating and spreading wealth within communities. Over the last decade, people across the UK have taken on local wealth building ideas, applied them in their own communities and witnessed the fruits of their work through the growth of inclusive, living waged jobs, invigorated local supply chains, greater concentrations of local business and increased local spending.
This publication distils the learning from these places and charts a course for a future in which Local Wealth Building is the mainstream of local economic development theory and practice in the UK. This publication has been developed for the Birmingham Local Wealth Building Summit, 2018. It has three elements:
- Part One outlines ten years of CLES’ work on Local Wealth Building and makes the case that this approach should become the basis for local economic development, supplanting the prevailing agenda which all too often delivers poor social outcomes.
- Part Two details Local Wealth Building work taking place in Birmingham, Europe’s largest local authority area. Recent work with six Birmingham based Anchor Institutions has demonstrated the potential for them to play a defining role in shaping the city’s economy and these organisations have committed to collaborating to fulfil this potential.
- Part Three sets out CLES’ thinking to date on the practical steps for local politicians, public sector organisations and people working in local economic development to grow Local Wealth Building across the UK, translating these ideas and approaches into mainstream local economic development. The outcome of the Summit will help to refine and develop this thinking and translate it into practical action.