What does good practice look like in this area?

The City of Edinburgh Council has developed a range of wellbeing measures of economic activity and are keen to work with others who are interested in influencing this. As part of the Edinburgh Economy Strategy it adopted a good growth framework approach. The annual report on the strategy went to the Housing and Economy Committee on the 6 June 2019.

North Ayrshire Council launched its Community Wealth Building Strategy in May 2020 which is the first of its kind in Scotland. As part of its inclusive economy journey, early work included fact-finding and learning lessons from Preston, building on the Improvement Service economic footprint reports, establishing an officer working group, commissioning CLES to undertake a local wealth diagnostic across the CWB pillars and to make recommendations, and establishing a CWB Commission including key local and regional anchor institutions.

The Ayrshire Growth Deal Heads of Terms included £3 million from Scottish Government for a Community Wealth Building Fund to develop a regional approach to community wealth building and there are close links to the £8.5 million regional skills and inclusion project.

The new strategy sets out our ambitions for this new economic model and how the council will achieve this by focusing on a CWB mission of ‘enhancing local wealth and the creation of fair jobs, and maximising the potential of all our places through working in partnership with our communities and businesses’. The council has set out six objectives to deliver CWB:

  • Community Wealth Building Council: We will work across all our services and wider local and regional partners to implement Scotland’s first approach to community wealth building

  • Procurement: We will use our spend to actively encourage and support a growing, diverse and resilient local business base, and to support our net zero carbon ambitions

  • Fair employment: We will encourage the creation of fair and meaningful jobs with progression opportunities to unlock the potential of our residents

  • Land and assets: We will support the wider regeneration of our communities by maximising all of our land and assets including through alternative uses for community and business benefit

  • Financial power: We will invest locally and encourage regional and national institutions to invest in our communities

  • Plural ownership of the economy: We will support the creation and sustainability of a range of business models including SMEs, social enterprise, employee ownership, cooperatives, municipal activity and community enterprises

The strategy sets out a range of ambitious actions for embedding the CWB approach, including: co-producing CWB activities with communities and businesses; encouraging local businesses to explore more local supply chains; ensure all anchors adopt a fair work approach; review land and assets to explore alternative community uses, commercial opportunities to grow local wealth, develop low carbon energy schemes, and to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; explore the feasibility of a community bank and explore the use of local authority pension funds to support local projects; and promote the cooperative model.

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