Ayrshire Anchor Charter marks major step forward in Community Wealth Building journey
Posted on 5 Oct 2021
Support for a bold and fresh approach to rebuilding the Ayrshire economy has today (Tuesday) received significant support from further major public bodies.
North Ayrshire Council’s Community Wealth Building Strategy – first launched in May 2020 – outlines a bold new economic model with a focus on wellbeing and inclusion to reduce poverty and inequality across the region.
Central to the new way of thinking is the support of other major Ayrshire Anchor Institutions who, like North Ayrshire Council, will use their economic levers to generate and retain wealth in the area.
The Ayrshire Anchor Charter was launched last year during Challenge Poverty Week and commits Anchor Institutions to a number of pledges which support the principles of Community Wealth Building.
The Integration Joint Board (IJB) for North Ayrshire has now signed the Charter as part of Challenge Poverty Week and East and South Ayrshire IJBs expect to also do so in the coming weeks.
They will join other Ayrshire Anchor Institutions including NAC, East Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Ayrshire College, Scottish Enterprise and The Ayrshire Community Trust who signed the Charter last year.
Responsible for developing and managing the delivery of community health and social care services across North Ayrshire, the IJB consists of members from the local authority, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and other members who represent on behalf of carers, patients and service users.
Bob Martin, Chair of North Ayrshire Integration Joint Board, said: “The IJB as the strategic commissioning body of the Health and Social Care Partnership are in a significant position of influence, directing a considerable amount of financial resources to commission services for our communities. Therefore, there is a significant contribution that the IJB can make to working in partnership with communities and businesses to build a strong local economy which supports fair work and encourages local spend.
“Our priorities in delivering sustainable and thriving local services are completely in alignment with the vision of Community Wealth Building and it is exciting for the IJB to formally sign up to go on the journey with the other Anchor Institution organisations.”
Now in its second year, the Ayrshire Anchor Charter provides a public pledge that institutions will do all they can to support the principles of Community Wealth Building.
These include supporting more local businesses to bid for public sector contracts with each agreeing to increase their spend locally where possible.
A review of all land and property is also being undertaken to see how it can be used more efficiently to support communities and enterprises to help them grow.
Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “Community Wealth Building is about working in partnership with communities and businesses to build a strong local economy which supports fair work, encourages local spend and uses the land and property we own for the common good so that wealth stays local.
“The commitment of the Integration Joint Board to deliver the Community Wealth Building approach is a landmark moment in our Community Wealth Building journey across all of Ayrshire.
“It is particularly significant that we are announcing this commitment during Challenge Poverty Week. Ayrshire suffers from significant levels of poverty and inequality so it is clear new approaches like Community Wealth Building are needed. We hope that in the coming months more of the region’s major Anchor Institutions will commit to the Charter and together we can build back better, fairer and greener.”