Localising Prosperity? See Localise West Midlands’ new website

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On the Localising Prosperity website, Localise West Midlands asks if you want to maximise the benefits of economic development in your area: “Do you want a socially inclusive, redistributive, prosperous economy?”

This is about localising prosperity for everyoneby integrating community economic development into everyday business. About understanding and building upon an area’s existing strengths so that it can develop from within – maximising the local economic and social benefits for all. To learn more, go to the new website.

It’s a private, public, social and for-profit agenda.

It can be used within public bodies, community groups, private businesses, local enterprise partnerships, Chambers, Business Improvement Districts, thinktanks and the voluntary sector anyone who wants to play a role in making places better and sharing prosperity.

There is a “virtuous circle” relationship between more locally owned businesses, more local power, better social outcomes and greater prosperity:

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LWM’s research concluded that higher levels of small business and local ownership lead to higher levels of economic success, job creation, social inclusion, civic engagement, well-being and local distinctiveness, and this virtuous circle explains how.

So we can realise local economic power rather than handing it to ‘absentee landlords’ i.e. distant private and public sector owners with little understanding of the local area.

Localise West Midlands secured funding from the Barrow Cadbury Trust for 2013-14 to develop this work, building on their 2012-13 research findings and generating practical outcomes from the approach.

Graham Young’s account in the Birmingham Mail quoted Professor David Cannadine: “The Barrow Cadbury Trust has been both an exemplary and a pioneering charity, especially concerned with social improvement, social justice, peace and reconciliation.” Many local people will remember the founders’ son, Paul Cadbury, who furthered these causes, chairing Birmingham’s Research Committee, which published a 1941 document called ‘When We Build Again’, a visionary attempt to look beyond the Second World War towards rebuilding the city.

Localise West Midlands is one of several organisations working to rebuild and rebalance the economy.