The Co-production Network attended the exciting ‘Building a New Economy for Wales’ conference organised by Building Communities Trust (BCT) and CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies)in Cardiff. At the event we supported workshops, took part in discussions and attended presentations on building local prosperity and forging stronger communities in Wales.
Of particular interest was the presentation by Ted Howard, of the Democracy Collaborative, regards ‘Community Wealth Building’. With a heavy focus on working with local ‘Anchor Institutions’ (Colleges, Hospitals, Local Government and the like), there is a re-investment in local suppliers – this leading to the creation of large Co-ops, to provide the services these larger organisations need, rather than spending on big suppliers outside the local economy.
A rallying call from Neil McInroy at CLES :
“…the job now is to amplify, spread and scale. Plural – there is no one fix. City regions & agglomeration economics have their place (but) Wales is a place of many towns, villages & rural areas. This is about supporting soft infrastructure as much as hard.”