Community wealth building

  • Community wealth building in Scotland

    This post originally appeared on the website of Scotland’s Centre for Regional Inclusive Growth.

    Inclusive economic growth is a key aspiration for Scotland, as set out in the country’s Economic Strategy. Scotland aims to grow a sustainable and successful economy whilst tackling inequalities. To realise these aspirations, the fast-moving community wealth building movement offers a practical, common sense local place approach.

    The community wealth building approach starts with a strong focus on wealth. We know that Scotland is a relatively wealthy country, however wealth here has grown much faster than income. This disparity has disproportionately benefitted older people. Those born in the second half of the 1970s have a third less wealth than those born in the first five years. Furthermore, wealth distribution is geographically and socially uneven, with the top 10% owning a staggering 200 times more wealth than the bottom 10% (a median wealth of £1.3m compared to £6,000). Indeed, the wealthiest 10% own 43% of all wealth in Scotland, with the least wealthy 40% only owning 5%[i].

    Climate emergency is here. For local economies, this changes everything.

    As we head into a new decade, it is now impossible to ignore the fact that the climate emergency will be the dominant issue above all others in the 2020s.

    Whether it be Bolsonaro burning the Amazon or, closer to home, vast flooding across Yorkshire and the Peak District, events in recent months have breathed terrifying life into Greta Thunberg’s assertion that ‘we need to act as if our house is on fire, because it is.’

    On the front line of social change – the importance of community businesses in community wealth building

    If you want to see community wealth building in action, come to Liverpool 8.

    There you will find The Florence Institute – known to all around as The Florrie – a vibrant community hub housed in an imposing Grade II listed Victorian building. Since being restored by local activists in 2012, The Florrie has been a space of empowerment for local residents – building wealth by offering jobs and projects to support those most in need.
    “Community businesses play a crucial role in community wealth building by enabling a more plural ownership of the economy”
    It was therefore a fitting venue for last week’s launch of CLES’ latest research on behalf of the Power to Change Research Institute – Building an inclusive economy: the role of social capital and agency in community business in deprived communitiesThe report looked at how community businesses can support the development of more inclusive economies in deprived areas. Using three case studies (north Hull, west Smethwick, and south Liverpool), CLES has spent the last year seeking to understand how varying forms of social capital are needed to help seed a vibrant local community business scene.

  • Joe Bilsborough

    Researcher

  • Celebrating eight years of community wealth building in Preston

    Much has been said about the so-called “Preston model” – a new economic approach developed by the City Council, against the grain of much conventional thinking on economic development. In eight years, Preston has shown that a different model is possible. The deep, practice-focused work now stands as proof that community wealth building can drive real change.

    That is why we’re proud to today be releasing How we built community wealth in Preston; achievements and lessons. This publication, jointly produced by CLES and Preston City Council, is the definitive telling of the story and the theory behind the ‘Preston model’, written by two organisations who have led on this work from the very beginning.

    Reflections on the Community Wealth Building Summit

    Back in the office at the start of a new week, the CLES team is fired with an enthusiasm that only comes with successfully bringing 200 dedicated activists and changemakers together. As we push on to drive further actions and outcomes, the team has taken some time to offer three quick-fire reflections of our own from the day about what #cwbis to us…

  • RESEARCH

    Time to Build an Inclusive Local Economy

    30th May 2019
    Recommendations for change to advance an inclusive economy focused on community wealth building, social justice, environmental sus...
  • Community Wealth Building

    What is Community Wealth Building, why is it important, and what has CLES been doing about it?

    Over the past 10 years, CLES has amassed a body of work around Community Wealth Building and Anchor Organisations in Greater Manchester, Preston, Birmingham and 11 cities across Europe. This pioneering work is focused on building an economy where wealth – including the spend of local anchor organisations – is recirculated locally for the benefit of local communities.

    A new urban economic agenda: localise, socialise, and democratise

    There are sensible ways through which we can reorganise the UK economy, argues CLES CEO, Neil McInroy. He explains how a new urban economic agenda can be implemented and how it can help build a more socially just future.

    All things must pass and the dominant urban economic model of the last few years is starting to creak, and a new progressive agenda is threatening to replace it. At its core is a rejection of liberal economics, a questioning of urban economic policy, and a desire to reorganise our city economies: social justice and environmental sustainability are not just hopes but central objectives.