On 1 September 2020, the Scottish Government published their Programme for Government (PfG), setting out the actions it will take in the coming year and beyond.
To help Scotland’s post Covid-19 recovery, PfG focuses on creating new jobs, good jobs and green jobs, promoting lifelong health and wellbeing and promoting equality and helping young people fulfil their potential.
The theme of “locality” runs through PfG, with new commitments around local supply chain development, 20 minute neighbourhoods and Community Wealth Building (CWB). It recognises that no one model will fit every part of Scotland and it is vital that communities, public services and businesses are involved in designing and building their local economic and community wealth building solutions.
Learning from work already underway in places like Ayrshire, the Scottish Government has now committed to working with 5 additional areas – Clackmannanshire, South of Scotland, Glasgow City Region, Western Isles and Tay Cities – to grow community wealth building here. In collaboration with local partners, we will produce CWB action plans for each area that set out practical actions to prioritise for more inclusive economic impact in the context of recovery and renewal. The first three plans will be delivered within the coming 3 months, with the final two following early next year.
Building strength and empowerment in local economies and communities is key to our collective recovery and has the potential to bring tangible local benefits quickly. Taking a CWB approach ensures that local people and businesses have a genuine stake in producing, owning and enjoying the wealth they create, and moves us closer to the more just, equitable and sustainable society we want to see in a post Covid-19 Scotland.
Clackmannanshire are making good progress with their Action Planning process, with CLES supporting the Council to look at short and longer term actions to implement CWB. Short term actions might include ways to change procurement practice and service delivery for maximum community benefit. An Action Plan was published in December.
Glasgow City Region
Glasgow City Region is committed to a region wide Action Plan with a focus on procurement in construction, and bringing vacant and derelict land sites into productive use for urban agriculture, community food growing and green spaces. An Action Plan is expected in early 2021. This will be complementary to existing work on sustainable procurement, vacant and derelict land and the Clyde Mission.
A recent article by Council Leader Susan Aitken showcases Glasgow City Council’s commitment to CWB through the Regional Economic Partnership and City Region Deal programme:
Tay City Region
Fife Council will pioneer work on CWB for the Tay City Region, sharing lessons with other councils within the region. Work is underway to agree priorities but work will focus across the five principles of CWB in Fife. The Action Plan work is underway and the plan is currently in draft.
More about the inclusive growth approach taken within the Tay Cities Region Deal can be found here:
South of Scotland
South of Scotland Enterprise are keen to explore how to use CWB to stimulate inclusive growth in the region. This was discussed at the Convention of the South of Scotland in September and work is expected to begin on an Action Plan in the first part of 2021.
The Western Isles is well known as an exemplar in community land ownership and the community energy with all the benefits to communities and the local economy that these bring. Work with CNES will start in the New Year to consider how this activity can be connected up to the other principles of CWB and develop an Action Plan.