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October 25, 2019

Keeping wealth local

There’s something approaching a consensus that the days of completely free market, global capitalism are numbered. What most people tend to duck however is the question of what comes next.  For some time now, CLES a think -tank based in Manchester have been advocating a set of ideas that they believe will form at least part of the answer – community wealth building. CLES chief exec, Neil McInroy will be presenting his latest ideas at our shared conference in November along with the one local authority in Scotland to have embraced community wealth building as a central strategy.   


Full report from CLES  here

Community wealth building is an intentional reorganisation of the local economy in order to tackle the inequalities and disadvantages that are today, more than ever, so acutely felt in our homes and communities across the UK.

Work by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, and others, is developing practice that can be adopted to help change a system that we know is broken and is failing to serve the interests of the vast majority of people.

Whilst the post-war social contract and settlement ensured a benevolent state that managed and redistributed the proceeds of a regulated capitalist market, the state has since – over the last 40 years – become submissive in the face of global capital mobility. Increasingly, wealth has become disconnected to places and the economic fortunes of local people.

“Community wealth building is about creating a fairer, more socially just economy. It is practical action, framed by progressive concepts.”

Community wealth building is therefore about creating a fairer, more socially just economy. It is practical action, framed by progressive concepts. Instead of solely relying on redistributing some growth ‘after the fact’ of its creation, community wealth building seeks to restructure the composition of the economy itself, so that the production of wealth is focussed on community benefit by ensuring it is widely held, shared and democratised.

In June 2019 the Centre for Local Economic Strategies hosted the second annual Community Wealth Building Summit, the only event like it in the UK. The 200- strong delegate list read like a roll call of locations and sectors where community wealth building is happening. From Newham to North Ayrshire and Leeds to Lewisham, this progressive approach to economic development is being adopted by universities, health institutions, community businesses, local councils, as well as the private sector.

Let the movement flourish!