Building community wealth: consultation

The Programme for Government 2022-23 outlined that we will hold a consultation on community wealth building legislation. We welcome a wide range of views on the changes that are required to grow local wealth and give communities a greater stake in the economy.

Annex A – Overview of CWB Activity in Scotland

There has been significant progress in implementing CWB in Scotland over the past few years. The purpose of this Annex is to provide a high level overview of examples of CWB activity in Scotland and it is not intended to be exhaustive.[61]

The Scottish Government has supported five pilot areas to develop bespoke CWB action plans, covering a range of actions across the five pillars of CWB.[62]

CWB Pilots


Clackmannanshire are progressing CWB activity including in relation to the Gender Pay Gap and real Living Wage, ownership considerations in high street regeneration, growing local supply chains and a community benefits wish list.

Fife/Tay Cities

Fife are focusing on a number of areas including growing local spend, delivering employability funding through a CWB lens to support lone parents, deepening the role of community finance and using land as a tool to achieve net zero. The learning will be shared with the wider Tay Cities region.

Glasgow City Region

Glasgow City Region are focused on bringing vacant and derelict land into more productive use and are pursuing sustainable procurement within the construction sector aiming to develop benefits for Scottish firms with a securer pipeline for apprenticeships and more local jobs. Glasgow City Region are now developing plans to advance CWB across all five pillars of the approach.

South of Scotland

The South of Scotland Regional Economic Partnership are incorporating CWB across its regional economic strategy, and South of Scotland Enterprise, working with partners, have a deep dive focus on the role of housing sector in developing South of Scotland supply chains, particularly in green retrofitting of housing stock.

Western Isles

Western Isles have focused on areas such as enhancing awareness and application of land rights and responsibilities for greener and more locally productive use and deepening the links between employability programmes and local skills needs, in addition to activity across other CWB pillars.

North Ayrshire Council and Ayrshire Growth Deal

North Ayrshire Council launched Scotland's first CWB strategy in May 2020 committing the Council to deliver an ambitious range of CWB activity at a local level and through collaboration with regional partners.[63]

Scottish Government committed £3 million through the Ayrshire Growth Deal to advance CWB across the region. The funding is supporting new Community Wealth Building officers to support local businesses and community organisations deliver Community Wealth Building ambitions; a regional CWB Fund to advance this activity; and a dedicated Fair Work Ayrshire team who will work closely with Ayrshire anchor organisations and major employers to establish Ayrshire as a Fair Work region.[64]

This builds on wider CWB activity in the Ayrshire region including: an Ayrshire-wide Community Wealth Building Commission containing key anchor organisations including health, further education, police, fire, Scottish Enterprise and the third sector; and the launch of an Ayrshire Anchor Charter which commits local and regional anchor organisations to a range of pledges across the five CWB pillars and a sixth pillar of 'Climate Action'.

Though CWB is often implemented on a local scale, as highlighted above there are examples where the approach has been expanded across whole regions, with Glasgow City Region and Ayrshire leading the way by embedding CWB within their Regional Economic Strategies. The value of this scale of ambition and shared endeavour has been recognised by the Regional Economic Policy Advisory Group, who noted the benefit that could come from this intentional use of public and private investment scaled up across regions in their Regional Economic Policy Review,[65] and included it as one of the policies that could be considered by all Regional Economic Partnerships across Scotland.

Beyond local authorities, a number of other sectors are working to integrate CWB principles into their work, embracing their role as 'anchors' and the wider contribution they can make to reduce inequalities.

As part of the Place and Wellbeing Programme within Health and Social Care, Scottish Government is working with Public Health Scotland to support health and social care providers to contribute to the CWB agenda including supporting territorial health boards (which operate at a regional level) to become active anchor organisations. Health boards and other health and social care providers can make a valuable economic contribution within their region by increasing access to local employment, purchasing from local suppliers and ensuring communities can make greater use of NHS land and buildings.

Scotland's Housing to 2040 strategy contains a focus on strengthening the role of social housing providers as key anchor organisations. Social housing providers are ideally placed not only to work with tenants and residents, but also to develop the wider local and regional economies in which they are based and help tackle poverty in these areas by providing work and training opportunities. The strategy sets out that by 2025, CWB will be embedded in the approach and practices of social housing providers across Scotland.[66]

There is also a plethora of activity and innovation within each of the five pillars of CWB. Within the spending pillar, the Supplier Development Programme is supporting Scottish SMEs and third sector organisations who are interested in bidding for public sector contracts through a range of resources and events.[67] In the workforce pillar, Fair Work First is driving high quality and fair work across the labour market in Scotland by applying fair work criteria to grants, other funding and contracts being awarded by and across the public sector, where it is relevant to do so.[68] In 2019 over 50 local employers – including Dundee City Council – developed an action plan to make Dundee the UK's first 'Living Wage City'.[69] Within the land and property pillar, the Scottish Land Commission have produced guidance on CWB and land and identified good practice case studies.[70] To support inclusive ownership, Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has partnered with Youth Enterprise Scotland (YE Scotland) on a new initiative which provides the first comprehensive source of information on inclusive, values-led business models for young people.[71] Within the finance pillar, Social Investment Scotland offer loan funding and business support for social enterprises, charities and community groups looking to make a positive impact on people's lives, society or the environment.[72]

These examples are not exhaustive however illustrate that CWB can deliver more and better jobs, business growth, more productive use of land and assets, plural ownership models and shorter supply chains.



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