Development Trusts NI (DTNI) launched the project ‘Creating Local Resilient Economies’ with the publication of Time to Build an Inclusive Local Economy. A Charter for Change in May 2019. The project is unique to Northern Ireland and aims to explore progressive strategies to build local community wealth and address economic inequalities in our society.
Poverty, low wages, job precariousness are still present in Northern Ireland and DTNI’s Charter identifies systemic challenges and indicates potential opportunities for the public, private and community sectors to work collaboratively in Council areas.
The Charter has been collaboratively developed by the Manchester-based Centre for Local Economic Strategies and DTNI and supported by Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and Friends Provident Foundation. The Charter defines the characteristics of an inclusive and resilient local economy as:
- Citizen-centric meaning that it is created by local people for local people;
- Place based meaning that it maximises the value of local physical and social assets;
- Dynamic meaning that it adapts and changes with the needs of the community;
- Collaborative because an inclusive economy depends on building strong relationships and sharing of power between sectors: public, private and community.
The project was inspired by what is currently happening in cities such as Preston, Manchester in England and Cleveland in US where an inclusive economy model of development has been adopted.
Ultimately, this Charter and the project should be seen as the basis for a conversation between public sector and community, about how to maximise the value of scarce resources and the role everyone can play in creating prosperous communities.
This project will initially focus on two areas: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and work with local Councillors, Council officials and representatives from community and social enterprises. DTNI will support and work with the Partnerships for the next 12 months addressing issues such as commissioning and procurement for social value, local ownership of underused land and buildings in your area, support for local business activities and investments for local enterprises.
At present, we are in the process of setting up ‘Good Economy’ Partnerships in your local area. We are inviting expressions of interest from local representatives with an interest in economy and experience of social and community enterprises and who may be interested in joining the partnership. If you would like to know more about the project and are interested in contributing to this initiative through the ‘Good Economy’ Partnership, please contact Tiziana O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or 028 9031 1132 before close of play Friday 11th October.