Community Wealth Building reports published – so what next?

Two new reports on Community Wealth Building in Argyll and Bute have now been published.  However, Argyll and Bute’s Community Wealth Building journey started many years ago as we have a long history of community action in driving change and promoting social justice through stimulating community based and non-extractive businesses and social enterprises.   Argyll and Bute is rich in natural resources – wind, sea, land, food – and yet the bounty is often extracted by distant shareholders.

The TSI, in partnership with the Council and Inspiralba, commissioned a census of our social enterprise sector in 2023.  It found that whilst the number of social enterprises in Argyll and Bute was still healthy in comparison with other areas, we had a reduced number of start ups as well as less statutory sector support than other areas.

The time then has come for a renewed look at the role of social enterprises in our communities and as an economic methodology supported by the Scottish Government, Community Wealth Building (CWB) provides us with a unique opportunity to do just that.

The TSI working with our partners in the Social Enterprise Network was keen to explore the potential for Community Wealth Building and in 2022 hosted the then Minister for Public Finance and Community Wealth Building, Tom Arthur MSP.  The TSI board then agreed to finance a report and two potential models of opportunity on behalf of the Community Planning Partnership (CPP).  CLES – supported by former Scottish Government adviser Neil McInroy, were commissioned and the resulting report and models of opportunity and have now been received by the CPP.

So what next?

The CPP Management Committee agreed in April to ask the Area Community Planning Groups for their view on areas for priority action and ideas for implementation.  The council’s new economic strategy will also provide an opportunity to change our local economic model to benefit local communities and build a sustainable, regenerative and socially just economy.

The agenda is potentially overwhelming – in that we need so many pieces to come together (land and investment etc.,) – so it is essential that we all work together to focus our energies and resources on the change that we can deliver that will make the most impact.  Watch this space for more developments and if you want to get involved or share your best practice examples please drop me a message in the chat below.

    Author Takki Sulaiman

    Part of CEO Updates, General News, Social Enterprise, Sustainability
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