After Covid-19, how we can rescue, recover and reform our local economies

Owning the future (policy paper)
Rescue, recover, reform (practice paper)
Summary of arguments

Today, Monday 20th April 2020, the think-do tank the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, releases two papers. In them, they outline the challenges facing local governments as they respond to the Covid-19 crisis as well as offering a way forward and describing practical actions for local leaders as they move towards recovery and reform.
The first paper - which has been co-authored by The Democracy Collaborative, the US-based research and development lab for the democratic economy – draws on both organisations’ work either side of the Atlantic on community wealth building.

The second paper is a practical guide for local leaders on steps they can take now as they begin to feel their way towards economic recovery and reform from the Covid-19 crisis. It builds on several well-attended conversations that CLES has hosted in recent weeks, bringing together local political leaders and economic development leads to develop a community of practice, under the auspices of the Community Wealth Building Centre of Excellence.

The practice of community wealth building, which has been adopted in multiple locations across the four nations of the UK (including the much-praised “Preston Model”), is rooted in a wholesale re-organisation of local economies to deliver economic, environmental and social justice.

CLES will be jointly hosting a webinar with the Economic Change Unit to discuss the issues presented in the papers - details to follow.

Ted Howard, Co-Founder and President of The Democracy Collaborative, said:
"On both sides of the Atlantic, we are at a true fork in the road, with the decisions to be made on how we recover from the current crisis of vital importance to the shape of our economic future. We are excited to have this opportunity to clearly state, alongside our partners at CLES, why the Covid-19 recovery must be grounded in community wealth building."

Neil McInroy, Chief Executive of CLES, said:
“Covid-19 has pulled back the veil of the failures in how we develop local economies. In the community wealth building movement, we have been working across the UK to make our local economies more democratic and work for ordinary people. As we confront this looming crisis, now is the moment to ramp up this work at pace and scale, so we can deliver much-needed rescue, recovery, and then reform.”


Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES)