3 December 2019

Osmond Chiu: Community wealth building aims to develop a framework to develop workable solutions that tries to keep money in local communities. Instead of spending significantly more, it relies on being smarter with how money is spent, taking advantage of the benefits of local industries, which support local multiple businesses through their supply chains and employ workers that will spend back into the local economy. It sees the economy as circular and rejects the extractive model of economic development which sees money taken out of local communities, and encourages a race to the bottom on taxes, wages and conditions. … While it is not a silver bullet to the challenges of regional economic development, community wealth building might be one way to start pushing back against economic decision-making that is based on the narrow criteria of financial cost. Instead, this approach can help re-embed the community into discussions about the kind of economy, and society, that we want.” Chiu highlights the success of Preston, in the north of England, to illustrate how community wealth-building can strengthen a community and improve people’s daily lives.