North Ayrshire Community Wealth Building
Scotland’s first community wealth building strategy aims to spread prosperity in an area with historically high poverty rates.
North Ayrshire Council launched Scotland’s first community wealth building strategy in May 2020. It sets out how the council will work in partnership with local communities, businesses and wider regional anchor institutions to create a fairer local economy to tackle poverty and inequality.
The strategy includes action to encourage more local businesses to bid for council contracts and to create fairer jobs. North Ayrshire will work to ensure public land and assets can be used more effectively to meet community and business needs, as well as to help tackle climate change.
The council will also aim to broaden business ownership through supporting the development of co-operatives, employee ownership and social enterprises, and is looking into establishing a community bank.
To guide the council’s work, an Expert Advisory Panel has been, whose members include renowned experts on community wealth building, wellbeing economy, fair work and climate change. A Community Wealth Building Commission of local and regional anchor institutions was established in September 2019 to implement the CWB approach and establish North Ayrshire as a Community Wealth Building Council.
Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council and Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building, said: “As we emerge from Covid-19 we need to build an economy that is better and fairer. That is why we have launched our Community Wealth Building strategy – the first of its kind in Scotland – to put forward a new economic model to support our recovery.
“Community Wealth Building is about working in partnership with communities and businesses to build a strong local economy which supports fair work, encourages local spend and uses the land and property we own for the common good so that wealth stays local.”
Photo: Beth (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Tags Community wealth
New rules needed
Policies that can help unleash the potential of this or similar initiatives across the UK.
Create devolved ‘just transition’ funds
Government should devolve a proportion of its Green New Deal budget to support local just transition plans.
Launch a Co-operative Development Agency
A network of support and capacity building to develop and extend the capabilities of the co-operative movement.
Create affordable workspaces
Affordable workspaces are essential to the survival of independent businesses.
Expand democratic public ownership
New models of public ownership ensure control by users, workers and communities.
Insource public services
Ending outsourcing can help government and local authorities reduce costs and improve services.
Promote community wealth building
Support co-ops to thrive in their localities by anchoring them within place-based industrial and community wealth building strategies.