Own the Future: A Guide for New Local Economies

This report by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) provides a guide for people willing to rebuild local economies whether that be politicians, officers, community activists, interested citizens or all levels of UK local government. The document outlines how to start taking actions towards recovery and development of local economies and communities through collaborative approaches.

Date added 15 July 2020
Last updated 15 July 2020

This report by Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) sets out a guide to develop thriving local economies post-COVID-19 by placing community wealth building at the heart of the recovery effort. The guide is aimed at people willing to rebuild local economies whether that be politicians, officers, community activists, interested citizens or all levels of UK local government.

The guide adopts the model of community wealth building which addresses the challenges of increasing inequalities and wealth extraction. Instead of assuming that the benefits of investments eventually trickle down, it drives transition by replacing extractive models of wealth ownership – those companies whose business model relies on maximising profits to distant shareholders – with locally productive forms of business. The guide proposes that community wealth building consists of five pillars: finance; land and property; spending; workforce, which then feeds into building a generative economy. It is hoped that this can continue to drive mobilisation of citizen power that aims to grow the economic stake of workers, consumers and citizens within the market.

The guide outlines the practical mechanisms for this mobilisation to take place. It builds on two papers previously published by CLES: “Owning the Future” and “Rescue, Recovery, Reform”. The guide then sets out steps to help people develop and maintain a deep understanding of the underlying state of local economies and the impacts of COVID-19 in the local area before introducing the concept of anchor institutions and exploring the key role that they will play in post-COVID-19 economic recovery and reform.