• Animation: What is local wealth building?

    Traditional approaches to economic development are failing local people and places. Over the past 10 years, CLES has been working with local areas and agencies on an alternative approach, one that develops locally controlled economies and puts communities first – Local Wealth Building.

    Interest and momentum around local wealth building has increased significantly over recent months. So, we have produced this short animation to explain what local wealth building is, why its time has come and how people can get involved.

    What Westminster can learn from local government procurement

    For ten years I’ve worked with procurement practitioners in local government and other place-based institutions, helping them to shift their mindset and behaviour, so they don’t just think about cost and efficiency in procurement decisions but a whole range of wider factors, including effectiveness, quality and social value.

    On the whole, procurement practice at the local level has changed for the better. Strategies consider social value and the challenges facing places, as well as more traditional considerations around cost and compliance.

    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.

  • CLES develop procurement strategy with Nagykallo

    The CLES Deputy Chief Executive, Matthew Jackson will be in Nagykallo, Hungary on Thursday 3rd August to discuss the city’s procurement strategy.

    Nagykallo are partners in the Procure Network and are seeking Matthew’s support to develop a bespoke procurement strategy for the City. This will go beyond the existing emphasis upon cost being the primary component of procurement strategy and decision making to think through how procurement can be used in Nagykallo to address local economic, social and environmental challenges.

    10 ways to engage SMEs in procurement

    Historically Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have faced a range of barriers in accessing procurement opportunities and in winning contracts. These barriers include: contracting authorities being unaware of SMEs and the types of goods and services they can potentially provide; SMEs viewing the procurement process, often rightly, as overly bureaucratic; SMEs not having the capacity to bid for opportunities and compete with large business; and the process of procurement often being undertaken on the basis of cost thus ruling out the ability of SMEs to demonstrate their wider value.

    Whilst these barriers still exist, the European Procurement Directives of 2014 have a specific focus on supporting SMEs to engage with procurement processes. There is a specific emphasis upon: contracting authorities simplifying the process of procurement; contracting authorities breaking opportunities down into smaller lots; and reducing the levels of turnover required to participate in tendering exercise. At the last meeting of the Procure network held in Koprivnica, Croatia in March 2017, we wanted to explore how the above principles were translating into reality at the city level and what activities could be undertaken by cities to more effectively engage SMEs and local organisations in procurement. Collectively we identified 10 key ways which relate to common barriers:

    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.