Anchor Institutions

Gaps in the Greater Manchester Strategy

The new Greater Manchester Strategy ‘Our People, Our Place’ was launched last week with ten new priorities announced to make Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old. With a compelling focus on people – described by Mayor Andy Burnham as Greater Manchester’s ‘greatest asset’ – and some whispers of alternative economics, the Strategy shows a marked shift towards new priorities for GM. However, its strength will be in its delivery, and there are some gaps that could be addressed to go further towards achieving the goals set out in the strategy.

People and Place

Collaboration between the public, private and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sectors to deliver place based growth which benefits local people is at the forefront of the new strategy; certainly in rhetoric terms.

8 ways to enhance the role of housing providers

Housing providers have a significant role to play in the functioning of the economies in which they are based and in addressing social issues. They achieve this through the delivery of activities which complement and supplement public services and contribute to a variety of outcomes including around employment, and health and well-being.

Like other place based anchor institutions, housing providers also have a key lever for economic, social and environmental change at their disposal in the form of procurement. All housing organisations will purchase goods, services and works and will have a process in place to design, procure and deliver these. However, the challenge with procurement historically is that it has often been overly bureaucratic, with price the primary decision-making criteria; and little opportunity to utilise procurement to address wider issues.

Community Wealth Building continues

CLES continues to undertake work around community wealth building and particularly anchor institutions in Preston, Birmingham, Oldham and across 11 cities in Europe.

This week, CLES Deputy Chief Executive, Matthew Jackson will be presenting the key findings of our recent publication ‘Community Wealth Building through Anchor Institutions’ to three audiences: the Salford Social Value Alliance, the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Policy Network, and the Lowestoft Commissioning Academy.

Michael Sheen, John McDonnell and Neil McInroy discuss The Preston Model

Neil McInroy, CLES’ CEO,  joins actor and political activist Michael Sheen and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell to chair round table on the innovative work of Preston City Council and its partners around community wealth building.

Over the past three and a half years CLES, has worked collaboratively with Preston City Council and six other anchor institutions to put into practice progressive economics that truly benefits people and place. Now known as the ‘Preston Model’, the programme is succeeding in developing the local economy in Preston and the surrounding areas in Lancashire, through strengthening local supply chains and increasing the number of local jobs.  The achievements have been published in a recent report by CLES, Community wealth building through anchor institutions.

Whatever happened to economic development?

Budget day for the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) used to be one of intrigue and relative excitement. In the 2000s, the Budget was supplemented by a specific annex focused on economic development and regeneration. Indeed, the Budget was where we saw exciting new renewal initiatives announced; reviews of sub-national economic development formulated; and new duties and funding initiated.

Inclusive growth: Making an economy work for a few more?

The report from the RSA inclusive Growth Commission has now been launched – ‘Making our economy work for everyone’. Chaired by Stephanie Flanders, of JP Morgan Asset Management, this work sought to identify practical ways to make local economies across the UK more economically inclusive and prosperous. However, it is arguable that the ideas are limited in terms of wider social justice and economic resilience. Instead of making an economy work for everyone, it’s more likely that it will merely make our economy work for just a few more.

For many years, economic development has been a thin gruel for social inclusion; based overly on economic growth (sometimes at all costs), trickle down and spatial agglomeration. So, it is heartening that the commission seems to have partly picked up on the ideas of CLES and others (you can read our RSA submission here). This includes the understanding (if not a truism) that investment in social institutions and people is as important as investment in economic infrastructure; or, how the spheres of the economic and the social are not separate, but linked. They also highlight the excellent practical work CLES are engaged in: Community Wealth Building and Anchor Institutions.

Progressing procurement processes and practice in Manchester

Around ten years ago, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) started undertaking work around public procurement. Our interest in procurement was three-fold. First, we wanted to understand more effectively where procurement spend went and the impact in particular it had upon local economies. Second, we wanted to shift the behaviour of procurement officers so that a wider range of factors informed the procurement decision. Third, we wanted to influence the behaviour of suppliers so that they delivered greater benefits for local economies and people through the provision of goods and services.

  • RESEARCH

    The Power of Procurement II

    28th February 2017
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  • Community wealth benefits locals

    Local residents and businesses are reaping the rewards of a pioneering approach to local economic development in Preston, Lancashire, as highlighted in a new report published today by the progressive economics think tank, CLES.

    Community wealth building through anchor institutions, reflects on three and a half years of work carried out by CLES, collaboratively with Preston City Council and eleven other anchor institutions to put into practice progressive economics that truly benefits people and place.