The Preston Model

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.

Community Wealth Building conference

CLES Chief Executive Neil McInroy and Senior Researcher Victoria Bettany have been invited to speak at a conference dedicated to community wealth building, focusing on CLES’ work in Preston.

Their session will be chaired by CLES’ Amy Clancy, and it is one of a series of sessions which will explore how to use levers such as procurement, insourcing, setting up local banks, and energy generation to revitalise local economies and strengthen economic democracy. Other speakers include John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor; Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian senior economics correspondent; and Ted Howard, Democracy Collaborative.

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.

Michael Sheen, John McDonnell and Neil McInroy discuss The Preston Model

Neil McInroy, CLES’ CEO,  joins actor and political activist Michael Sheen and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell to chair round table on the innovative work of Preston City Council and its partners around community wealth building.

Over the past three and a half years CLES, has worked collaboratively with Preston City Council and six other anchor institutions to put into practice progressive economics that truly benefits people and place. Now known as the ‘Preston Model’, the programme is succeeding in developing the local economy in Preston and the surrounding areas in Lancashire, through strengthening local supply chains and increasing the number of local jobs.  The achievements have been published in a recent report by CLES, Community wealth building through anchor institutions.

Bringing community wealth to Birmingham

Funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, CLES will be undertaking work in Birmingham over the next 18 months exploring how the power of anchor institutions based in the City can be harnessed for maximum local economic and social benefit.