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Our Community Wealth Building journey

We set up a Community Wealth Building Commission in June 2019. This is a partnership of council services, Community Planning Partners and wider regional partners. They committed to driving forward this approach.

We then launched Scotland’s first Community Wealth Building Strategy in May 2020. Launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, our communities required radical, forward-thinking interventions to ensure a prosperous future. This meant a new approach to our economy, centred on wellbeing and inclusion.

In July 2020, we launched our Keep it Local campaign. This highlighted our commitment to buying and spending locally, where possible, supporting businesses to do the same and encouraging our communities to shop and visit local.

To aid collaboration and support Anchors to use their economic levers and embed Community Wealth Building practices within their respective organisations, we launched our Community Wealth Building Anchor Charter in October 2020. The Charter has 16 pledges across the five Community Wealth Building pillars and a sixth pillar of Climate Action to improve collective wellbeing and create a strong, resilient and inclusive local and regional economy. There are currently 11 organisations signed up to the Charter.

In November 2020, the Ayrshire Growth Deal was signed and in March 2021, the £3 million Community Wealth Building Project Full Business Case was approved. The project is being delivered through three key inter-related elements:

  • Community Wealth Building Locality officers
  • Community Wealth Building fund
  • Fair Work Ayrshire

A new 10 year Regional Economic Strategy for Ayrshire was approved by the Ayrshire Economic Joint Committee in February 2023 and was formally launched in June 2023. A Year One Delivery Plan was subsequently approved in September 2023. Building upon the strong relationships developed through the Community Wealth Building Commission we will support its delivery and ensure Community Wealth Building remains at the heart of the economic vision for Ayrshire.

As we continue our Community Wealth Building journey and reflect on the new economic context and learning we have gained over the past few years, we feel it is an appropriate time to revisit our Community Wealth Building Strategy.

Expert Advisory Panel 

We established our Community Wealth Building Expert Advisory Panel in May 2020. This group of leading economic experts were brought together to assist us with our strategy as it progresses. 

As well as acting as a critical friend and sounding board, the panel helps review our strategy as it moves forward. The Expert Advisory Panel includes: 

  • Martin Avila – Chief Executive, Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS)
  • Miriam Brett – Co-director of Future Economy Scotland
  • Roz Foyer – General Secretary, Scottish Trade Union Council (STUC)
  • Joe Guinan – Vice President of Strategy and Programs and Executive Director of The Next
  • Laurie Macfarlane – Co-director of Future Economy Scotland
  • Neil McInroy – Senior Global Adviser and Community Wealth Building Fellow, The Democracy Collaborative
  • Sarah McKinley – Director of Community Wealth Building Programs, The Democracy Collaborative
  • James Wright – Policy Lead, Co-operatives UK 

Community Wealth Building Strategies 

Progress reports