Local wealth building

Realising the potential for community business and anchor institutions

Community businesses are key drivers of the local economy and a growing aspect of Local Wealth Building. They are a key means of ensuring that wealth is more readily held, used and benefits local people and communities.

Vital to this is the extent to which community businesses are woven into the supply chains of anchor institutions. Work by CLES in three locations has found that community businesses are building local wealth and it is now time to celebrate, secure and amplify their full potential within the supply chain of anchor institutions.

  • What next for the Local Wealth Building movement?

    Local wealth building has emerged as a powerful tool to democratise our economy and create wealth for all. From Barcelona and Bologna to Preston, Islington, and Kirklees, the movement is growing and helping communities take back control. Jonty Leibowitz and Tom Lloyd Goodwin suggest that whilst now is a good time to recognise and celebrate these achievements, we must also be restless and ambitious, asking ourselves – ‘what next’ for this dynamic movement?

    It is no surprise that local wealth building has begun to gain traction in the last decade. Across the world, communities are beginning to fight back against a political and economic system in which wealth is hoarded by a narrow few, public services are cut to the bone, and the many are consigned to lives of economic precarity and political disenchantment.

    International research project launched to explore role of healthcare institutions in local economies

    The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and The Democracy Collaborative (TDC) will today announce the launch of a joint research project to explore the role of the NHS within local economies across the UK.

    Funded by the Health Foundation, the project will seek to identify the practical challenges and enablers of NHS institutions as ‘anchor institutions’ as well as developing a route map for progressing their role.

    Inaugural Local Wealth Building Summit beckons a new era for UK economy

    TODAY, the UK’s first Local Wealth Building Summit will take place, at the University of Birmingham, to showcase and galvanise the growing movement of people and places taking back control of their local economies.

    The summit has been organised by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) in partnership with the University of Birmingham and Barrow Cadbury Trust, and will take place in Birmingham where a significant programme of Local Wealth Building has been underway, since 2016.

  • PROJECT REPORT

    Local Wealth Building in Birmingham and Beyond: a new economic mainstream

    17th July 2018
    This 2018 report distils learning from ten years of work across the UK and charts a course for a future in which local wealth buil...
  • Building an inclusive economy in Kirklees: the movement continues…

    Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies & Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council

    Kirklees Council and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) have begun work to develop a more inclusive local economy through a new approach to economic development, ‘local wealth building’. In so doing, the Council joins a progressive movement of local authorities using this approach from Barcelona and Bologna to Preston and Salford.

    Local wealth building’ aims to reorganise the local economy so that wealth is broadly held, with local roots, and where benefits are recirculated.  The local wealth building movement, of which CLES are at the forefront, seeks to provide resilience where there is risk, local economic security where there is precarity, and to ensure opportunity, dignity and well-being for all.  A key part of this is how established organisations (‘anchors’), from local hospitals and manufacturers to local authorities, can use their assets, employment practices, and spend to improve local economic and social we-llbeing. Through local supply-chains and responsible employment and asset-management practices, these organisations are partners in reshaping local places and empowering local people for a more inclusive economy.

    Press Release: Building an inclusive economy in Kirklees

    The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has today announced a new local wealth building project with Kirklees Council.

    Kirklees 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.

    Manchester City Council spend is building local wealth

    Today, new findings revealing where Manchester City Council spends its money will be presented by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) during a Power of Procurement 2018, a local wealth building event at Manchester Central Library.

    In 2016/17, Manchester City Council spent £445.6 million with its top 300 suppliers (by value of contract). CLES has analysed this procurement spend to establish where this money has gone and to understand its impact on the Manchester economy and residents. CLES has been working with Manchester City Council since 2008 to analyse its annual procurement spend and to improve its procurement process so that it addresses local need and brings greater benefits to Manchester’s residents and businesses.