Localising Prosperity

Localising Prosperity is a LWM programme of activity based on making the most of local enterprise, existing business supply chains, networks, community assets and human potential. It has been funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust over three stages.

The first stage, Mainstreaming Community Economic Development, produced groundbreaking research into how a localising approach to economics can contribute to prosperity, social inclusion and local distinctiveness, and how this can be integrated into conventional economic development.

The second stage built on these findings by collaborating with partners in case study and practical work, and developing the excellent Localising Prosperity web resources (separate website).

We are now working on the third, two-year phase, from 2016-18. Joint coordinators Karen McCarthy and Karen Leach plan to:

a) Progress a Localising Prosperity agenda with the Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospital Trust, to ensure the new hospital can create more local money flow and reduce disadvantage

b) Engage with Black Country and Birmingham LEP contacts to identify and bridge the gaps between community-led economic development, LEP agendas and regeneration initiatives and highlight how these can be better integrated

c) Develop collaborative local networking around this agenda

d) explore the potential for local currencies in the West Midlands (see Birmingham Pound)

f) Develop tools for and engage with Business Improvement Districts & other traders’ networks

g) Explore opportunities to influence the WMCA and other devolution towards maximising local value

h) Explore opportunities for national collaborations with likeminded groups

i) Develop a Localising Prosperity consultancy service for locally-owned businesses who want to increase and demonstrate their local social value

j) Support and learn from one or more communities in implementing a genuinely community-led economic approach.

We’ll be publishing more about all this here as things develop.