Scotland

The brave

Four lessons from Scotland in delivering community wealth

At the close of the 2021 Community Wealth Building Summit, we reflect on remarks by our opening keynote speaker Tom Arthur MSP and the work that CLES has undertaken with the Scottish government over the last 12 months. The lessons learned should resonate with governments of all scales in Scotland and the wider community wealth building movement.

In his opening remarks to this week’s Community Wealth Building Summit, Tom Arthur MSP argued that community wealth building provided an “opportunity to approach economic development in a new way” in order to help create “common prosperity”. As the Scottish Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, Mr Arthur has put community wealth building at the forefront of his agenda arguing that it needs to sit across government, providing a “whole system approach” to an inclusive economy. He also confirmed the Scottish government’s intention to introduce a Community Wealth Building Bill during this parliament, to consolidate changes in practice and enable local anchor organisations to use their economic leverage to deliver more for local people and communities.

  • 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].

  • Places have relationships

    CLES has been working as part of a consortium with Carnegie UK Trust, University of Stirling and the Scottish Towns Partnership. Commissioned and funded by Carnegie UK Trust and the Scottish Government, the consortium have now devised the UK’s first and unique online tool, which has facts and figures for all 479 towns and cities across Scotland.