Community Wealth Building

Continuing on from last week's article on the well-being economy, we wanted to take a look at another aspect of Scotland's economic policy, Community Wealth Building (CWB). CWB is part of The National Strategy for Economic Transformation which outlines Scotland's vision to create a well-being economy: 'a society that is thriving across economic, social and environmental dimensions, and that delivers prosperity for all of Scotland's people and places'

In January of this year, the Scottish government launched a consultation on plans for new Community Wealth Building (CWB) legislation – the first of its kind – the consultation aimed to gather feedback on proposals to:

  • Place a legal duty on public bodies such as health authorities and local councils to use the economic levers they have – for example in sourcing goods and services – to support the transformation of local and regional economies
  • Promote cooperative, social enterprise and employee-owned businesses to ensure that more wealth is generated locally and stays local
  • Create fair work opportunities for local people and those who face barriers to employment
  • Ensure land and property are used for the benefit of local communities, businesses and the environment

On the day of the consultation launch, Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur stated that a Community Wealth Building Bill would;

..achieve more rapid benefits for communities, helping both people to earn incomes from fair work and more locally-owned businesses to bid for public sector contracts. Money spent locally is more likely to stay in the local economy and support local jobs.'

CWB recognises that one model will not fit every community and it is vital that communities, public services and businesses come together in brainstorming and building their local economic and CWB solutions. 

Please go to the Scottish Government's consultation hub, Citizen Space or access it online at Scot Gov-Citizen Space-CWB to give your thoughts and help shape this important policy. You can save and return to your responses, but final responses must be submitted by 25 April 2023

The five pillars of CWB are at the heart of the Third Sector, so this move towards greater legislation seems like a positive move in the right direction for Scotland. For the consultation to encompass the voices of all communities, it's essential that as many people as possible respond to the consultation.