The function of local economic development needs to evolve. Understanding and working with the wealth of local anchor institutions is one way forward, says Matthew Jackson
Places across the UK are striving to find new ways of attracting wealth, enhancing economic growth and addressing poverty. For the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), the attraction of wealth through inward investment is important; but of more importance is understanding and harnessing existing wealth for the benefit of local economies and communities.
At the Greater Manchester Social Value Network (GMSVN) we are seeking to ensure that social value is embedded in everything that Greater Manchester as a place does. That means social value being at the heart of Greater Manchester strategy and embedded in the DNA of the public sector, businesses and the voluntary and community sector.
“Cities need to understand and harness the potential of their existing wealth,” says Matthew Jackson, deputy chief-executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, who helped create the Preston model and is now running the Birmingham project.
Brexit and ongoing economic and social troubles has exposed the choices. On the one hand, there is a progressive choice – greater inclusion, hope, social growth and a narrowing of the gap between the haves and the have-nots. On the other, there is a more reactionary choice – fear, more divisions, economic growth for a few, and a deepening hardship for many.
This article explores why procurement is increasingly being seen as a way of addressing some of the economic, social and environmental issues facing our cities. It does this through reflecting on: the legislative framework for procurement; the activities of the Procure network; the importance of understanding where procurement spend goes; and how social considerations can be more effectively embedded into procurement processes.
What does the Autumn Statement mean for local economies and people in our communities? Matthew Jackson, Deputy Chief Executive of CLES, explains…
Birmingham City Council is joining with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and Barrow Cadbury Trust to examine how anchor institutions can boost local economic opportunities. Neil McInroy and Matthew Jackson explain the approach and the need for a closer look at growth.
Inclusive growth could help the poorest benefit more from economic expansion. This will require a state that invests in new infrastructure and backs local initiatives to support communities Inclusive growth is the new concept in town. The RSA have recently announced their Inclusive Growth Commission. They seek to identify practical ways to make the UK more economically prosperous and inclusive.
I have spent the last three weeks in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Providence exploring how those cities have responded to economic decline and indeed economic opportunity. I have been fascinated by the levels of collaboration, the role of anchor institutions, the scale of foundation resource, and the ability to raise and redistribute taxation as means of enabling that response. While I have seen lots of good work in those localities, I have also been amazed by the scale of the remaining challenge, particularly in terms of addressing inequality.