Traditional economic development practice and developer-led regeneration are failing to address the economic challenges of our time. Community wealth building is a new people-centred approach to local economic development, which redirects wealth back into the local economy, and places control and benefits into the hands of local people.
You may have seen the headlines heralding the success of the Preston model. However, this is just one example of how community wealth building (as a concept and a practice) is achieving real results and beginning to rival failing neoliberal approaches to local economic development. The full community wealth building approach is rooted in the European social democratic tradition, in which the state works to protect public values and achieve good outcomes for citizens. It has also drawn inspiration from community wealth building pioneered by The Democracy Collaborative in Cleveland, Ohio and the Mondragon cooperatives of the Basque Country.
Community wealth building is a response to the contemporary challenges of austerity, financialisation and automation. It seeks to provide resilience where there is risk and local economic security where there is precarity.
Collaborating with progressive places, we have developed tried and tested strategies based on five key principles.