EDAS Community Wealth Building Open Session #4 Event Summary
The EDAS Community Wealth Building Open Session 4, titled, ‘Inclusive Ownership’, welcomed speakers from the Scottish Land Commission, Economic Development Agencies and Local Authorities. The session also included a special feature on Anchor Institutions by Jamilla Hinds-Brough, Mayoral Head of Delivery at Greater London Authority.
With a focus on the growth of inclusive forms of ownership within the economy – a key fundamental pillar of Community Wealth Building (CWB) – the wider session examined the aim of increasing the extent to which all Scots have, or have the opportunity to, directly own a greater stake in the economy; be it land, property or in an element of economic activity.
Speakers’ insights explored the state of play, the challenges and opportunities, and where progress is already being made.
• Liz McEntee, Chair, EDAS
• Jamilla Hinds-Brough, Mayoral Head of Delivery at Greater London Authority
• Neil McInroy, Community Wealth Building Advisor, Scottish Government
• Megan MacInnes, Scottish Land Commissioner, Scottish Land Commission
• Darah Zahran, Social Economy Manager, Scottish Enterprise
• Mags McSporran, Head of Social Enterprise Development, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
• Morag Doig, Economic Development Officer, Programmes and Performance, Renfrewshire Council
Recording of session
Click on the video below to play. You can download the slides here.
Key points from speakers
Special features on Anchor Organisations – Jamilla Hinds-Brough, Mayoral Head of Delivery at Greater London Authority
- To support economic recovery across London, the London Recovery Programme and Board brings together all boroughs, the authority and key organisations from the public and private sectors to drive the recovery. This is a major development, fostering partnership working in an environment where collaboration has been historically fractured.
- The London Anchor Institutions Network was created by the London Recovery Board but is not led from the Mayor’s Office. The network is self-driven and operates six working groups across priorities outlined by the Charter: Responsible Procurement, Hiring and Skills, Mentoring for Young People, Green New Deal, Place-Based Activity, Impact Reporting.
- The London Anchor Institutions Network also drives Mayoral priorities and has facilitated commitment from the organisations involved. An example being organisational commitment to 20-30% of procurement spend to SMEs and Community Enterprises.You can read about the London Anchor Institutions Network via the website or you can watch the recordings of London Recovery Board Meetings here.
Megan MacInnes, Scottish Land Commissioner at Scottish Land Commission
- There are numerous parallels to be drawn between land reform and Community Wealth Building. Six headline areas for action set out by the recent “Guidance on Community Wealth Building and Land”: Supporting Net Zero ambitions and sustainable development, positive management of land and assets, productive reuse of land and buildings, collaboration and partnership, supporting economic growth and community aspirations, and, sharing information.
- The challenge is not just to change the ownership of land, it’s also about ensuring owners have responsibility of generating community benefits. The Scottish Government’s Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement means that owners now have a responsibility to deliver for local communities and the wider public good.
- At the end of March, the Scottish Land Commission published Guidance on Community Wealth Building and Land. The guidance was developed by an advisory group through stakeholder engagement. You can read it in full here.
Darah Zahran, Social Economy Manager, Scottish Enterprise
- Darah highlighted that Inclusive Ownership models are not just beneficial from the perspective of the wider economy and community wealth building, but also have proven to outperform more traditional business models. It’s beneficial for all involved and should no longer by considered as a peripheral tool for economic success, but instead central to success.
- Scotland is currently the 3rd largest growth region across the UK with a commitment to significantly increase the number of employee owned businesses operating in Scotland through the introduction of a target to reach 500 EOBs by 2030 (currently there are approximately 170 EOBs with 120 of those headquartered in Scotland). Inclusive ownership is a more democratic way of doing business that also better delivers on CWB principles like fair work and place-based wealth creation and distribution.
- The demand is driven, largely by business owners, by an interest in doing something new. Scotland now needs to use a partnership approach (through Cooperative Development Scotland) to implement the infrastructure and ecosystem to support that demand.
Mags McSporran, Head of Social Enterprise Development, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
- Mags set out the context for examples to follow. Covering more than half of Scotland’s land mass, HIE covers a diverse region with unique challenges requiring a unique approach. As well as helping businesses grow for a strong economy and better future, HIE is facilitating conditions for growth.
- Mags provided a number of examples (from the Highlands and Islands) of each of the forms of Inclusive Ownership: Papay Development Trust (Community Development) / Soirbheas (Community Energy) / West Harris Trust (Community Land Ownership Enterprise) / Harris Community Shop (Community Co-Operative) / Loch Ness Hub (Social Enterprise)
- Three challenges faced by the sector are: Capacity, access to finance (although finance forms are increasing but difficult to find) and preconceptions of social enterprise. We need to reposition how social enterprise is regarded and acknowledge the wealth of expertise that already exists in Inclusive Ownership models. In line with points made by Darah, Mags said “more please” – a plurality of models and pathways is now required to match demand.
Morag Doig, Economic Development Officer, Programmes and Performance, Renfrewshire Council
- Renfrewshire Council have launched “Startup Street” a new business model for subsidised office space that makes use of derelict, council owned spaces to address obstructions to growth faced by businesses within the authority.
- There are currently three models, each of which have a focus which ties in to authority priorities: Startup Street Johnston partners with Active Communities and is for health and wellbeing businesses; Startup Street Paisley partners with youth enterprise charity Launch It who run a programme to help young people develop business and entrepreneurial skills alongside the commercial space; and Startup Street Renfrew which will be home to a business accelerator for female founded businesses. Startup Street Johnston is based in “Station Seven”, the out of use Johnston Police Station which underwent a Community Asset Transfer to become a hub for Johnston, managed by Active Communities.
- This model was chosen as it moves away from traditional routes and respond to feedback collected from communities that for business growth they needed access to affordable commercial space and wider business knowledge. The model is driven by third sector partners, not Renfrewshire Council but is crucial in supporting long term economic activity whilst providing an abundance of local community benefits.