Report describes “local wealth building” as a community revitalization strategy

Local Wealth Building is a new approach to economic development that addresses the failure of the current agenda to generate significant benefit for local economies and people. Born out of a frustration with “development as usual” approaches, Local Wealth Building provides a practical framework for generating and spreading wealth within communities.

Over the last decade, people across the UK have taken on local wealth building ideas, applied them in their own communities and witnessed the fruits of their work through the growth of inclusive, living waged jobs, invigorated local supply chains, greater concentrations of local business and increased local spending.

This publication distills the learning from these places and charts a course for a future in which Local Wealth Building is the mainstream of local economic development theory and practice in the UK. This publication by CLES (Center for Local Economic Strategies) was developed for the Birmingham Local Wealth Building Summit, which took place in July of 2018.

It has three elements:

  1. Part One outlines ten years of CLES’ work on Local Wealth Building and makes the case that this approach should become the basis for local economic development, supplanting the prevailing agenda which all too often delivers poor social outcomes.
  2. Part Two details Local Wealth Building work taking place in Birmingham, Europe’s largest local authority area. Recent work with six Birmingham based Anchor Institutions has demonstrated the potential for them to play a defining role in shaping the city’s economy and these organisations have committed to collaborating to fulfill this potential.
  3. Part Three sets out CLES’ thinking to date on the practical steps for local politicians, public sector organisations and people working in local economic development to grow Local Wealth Building across the UK, translating these ideas and approaches into mainstream local economic development. The outcome of the Summit will help to refine and develop this thinking and translate it into practical action.

CLES is the UK’s leading independent think-and-do tank realising progressive economics for people and place. Their aim is to achieve social justice, good local economies and effective public services for everyone, everywhere.

Image courtesy of Birmingham’s Brindleyplace.

Download full report (PDF).

See CLES website.

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