Creating Resilient Local Economies

Time to Build an Inclusive Local Economy Short Form Leaflet

From Coronavirus to Community Wealth Report

Time to Build an Inclusive Local Economy Report

transparent Time To Build An Inclusive Graphic

Traditional economic thinking focuses on growth with the assumption that wealth ‘trickles down’ and creates prosperity for all. This thinking tends to view citizens and communities as recipients of wealth rather than producers, and is pervasive in economic policy development across central government.

New ideas and practice are starting to emerge across the UK on how we can build a more inclusive economy. We must think less about what we can attract or construct through external investment and more about what we already have and how we build from within.

Community wealth building (CWB), as defined by Centre for Economic Strategies (CLES), 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.’

Community anchors, such as Fermanagh Trust, Inner City Trust, Resurgam Trust, Open House Festival and Broughshane & District Community Association have been leading on the acquisition of public assets in recent years to build wealth in their localities. These local anchors, all community owned and all community led, are to be found, to a greater or lesser degree, in every town and village across Northern Ireland. The community architecture for community wealth building already exists so we must capitalise on its expertise and we must invest in it.

The seeds of a more inclusive economy have already been sown in Northern Ireland. To allow those seeds to germinate and flourish, we must build more upon our assets – our land and buildings, people and relationships, and most of all, the talent in our communities.

The role of the social economy, generated by community enterprises, must be fully recognised and woven into the work of public agencies and other commercial partners. Local communities must be supported to build upon their strengths and develop their economic resilience further.

The goal of an inclusive economy across NI requires four areas for development:

A - Advancing local community power

B - Building local community wealth

C - Commissioning and procuring for social value

D - Developing finance to support local economies

The seeds of a more inclusive economy have already been sown in Northern Ireland. To allow those seeds to germinate and flourish, we must build more upon our assets – our land and buildings, people and relationships, and most of all, the talent in our communities.

The role of the social economy, generated by community enterprises, must be fully recognised and woven into the work of public agencies and other commercial partners. Local communities must be supported to build upon their strengths and develop their economic resilience further.

Community wealth building presents us with a real opportunity to build a new and inclusive economic system.