During the Big Listening Project, which heard 10,000 views from 6,000 people, our residents told us they wanted a fairer and more inclusive borough and this priority is now a central part of our Deal 2030 strategy.
Community Wealth Building will help us tackle economic inequality locally and create a fairer borough with greater opportunities for all.
Our vision and principles document sets out how we will move forward with this approach to create sustainable social, economic, and environmental benefits for all our residents for decades to come.
We've also put together the following video to explain what Community Wealth Building is all about and why it's important to Wigan Borough.
What is Community Wealth Building?
Community Wealth Building aims to place control of our local economy in the hands of our local people, businesses, and communities. It's about how we work, along with our partners and businesses, to use our budget for goods and services, recruitment, land, and property in ways which reorganise the local economy to retain wealth in the borough and ensure benefits and inclusive opportunities for local people.
Why is Community Wealth Building important?
Our borough is becoming increasingly unequal. While employment rates have been very high in recent years, often that work doesn’t pay. 30,000 jobs (one-third of those in the borough) pay below the Real Living Wage and average earnings have fallen over the last decade. With the impact of COVID-19 and the damage it is doing to our economy, this situation is likely to get even worse with increased unemployment and the potential for wages to fall even further.
In many important ways, the national economic approach that promises we will all benefit from economic growth has failed. We need a new approach to grow an economy that is fairer and works for all of the people of our borough.
Does this replace the Deal or become a part of it?
Community Wealth Building is the next stage for The Deal to intentionally strengthen our local economy. In fact, for many years we have been practising many elements of Community Wealth Building, via the Community Investment Fund and the ethical homecare framework. Now, we want to build on the success of The Deal and apply the Deal principles, thinking and behaviours to scale up that intent and ambition to make the local economy work for our residents. This approach aligns with our Deal 2030 priority of creating ‘Economic growth that benefits everyone.’ Like The Deal, we can all play our part in helping where we live.
Wigan Borough’s Partnership for Community Wealth Building
The public sector in Wigan borough spends millions of pounds each year. Collaborating with the borough’s other ‘anchor institutions’ means we can have an even more powerful impact locally. Wigan’s anchor institutions, such as the college, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group, have come together and created a partnership which will drive forward this approach.