The Clancy administration is to be congratulated on its decision to join forces with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and Barrow Cadbury Trust to look at how ‘anchor’ institutions can use their spending power to increase economic opportunities for all Birmingham’s communities, businesses and citizens.
Ground-breaking research on this and allied subjects by Digbeth-based Localise West Midlands (LWM) has been underway for some years, some of it supported by these two organisations. Some readers may remember the diagram published & several references to the Barrow Cadbury work – the latest in August, here.
The Council Leader’s bulletin (which may be read in full here) explains:
“Anchor institutions, such as the local authority, hospitals, universities and housing providers are significant spenders in the local economy, with large annual budgets for staff, food, energy and other supplies and services.
“Now, using an approach which is common in many North American cities and which CLES has piloted in Preston (Ed: which is a co-operative council), the new partnership aims to help Birmingham’s anchor institutions use their spending power locally by identifying changes in behaviour around procurement and other processes that will benefit local businesses, people and communities.
Sara Llewellin, Chief Executive of Barrow Cadbury Trust said: “The Trust has been pleased to see debate and practice on local economies grow in Birmingham in recent years. This anchor institution work will build on a movement which is already strong within the city and help to explore how resources already flowing through the city can be better utilised for the good of all citizens.”