Fife Council commits to Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal Community Wealth Building pledges
Fife Council has become the first participant of the Edinburgh and Southeast Scotland (ESES) City Region Deal to commit to all three community wealth building pledges. The three pledges aim to support the growth and development of local businesses and place a focus on promoting employment and skills opportunities across the region.
Community wealth building is an approach that provides inward investment for communities, meaning the money made by local businesses stays local and keeps wealth within the community.
Fife Council has been working closely with the Capital City Partnership to encourage businesses to use the ESES Portal, an online community benefits portal matching communities and good causes with suppliers and businesses in the ESES City Region Deal area.
The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal has also been working with the Centre for Local Economy Strategies (CLES) to help design the community wealth building pledges, and to explore how community wealth building can be embedded into every project in the deal.
The pledges commit members to help develop and grow local enterprises, build inclusive skills and employment pathways, and encourage diversified ownership by supporting local entrepreneurs and businesses looking to grow.
The pledges will be incorporated into the Fife Industrial Innovation Investment (i3) Programme, a £50 million, ten-year programme delivered by Fife Council. The programme is part of the £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, a partnership of local authorities, universities, colleges, the Scottish Government and UK Government to deliver a 15-year programme that will transform the regional economy.
The Fife i3 Programme delivers new business premises and immediately available serviced employment land. As part of the programme, there are currently new modern business units located in Glenrothes, Dalgety Bay, and Kirkcaldy, with units in development at Dunfermline and Levenmouth.
Committing to the pledges means that moving forward, Fife Council has updated the application process for businesses applying for new units as part of the Fife i3 programme. Part of the process requires businesses to show aspirations of providing community benefits, including providing apprenticeships, using local business partners, and providing the Real Living Wage to employees.
Some of the businesses who have moved into the new business units across Fife have already shown their commitment to proving community benefits. This includes donating excess stock to the community and sponsoring local sports teams and players.
Gordon Mole, Head of Business and Employability at Fife Council said:
“Committing to these pledges demonstrates our dedication to accelerating inclusive growth and removing the barriers to growth in our local economy.
“We are committed to creating a fairer Fife where we grow the local economy, and everyone benefits from the wealth generated within our communities. That’s what community wealth building is about, as underlined with our commitment to a Community Wealth Building anchor charter in Fife.”
Councillor Altany Craik, Spokesperson for Finance, Economy and Strategic Planning at Fife Council said:
“The Community Wealth Building pledges are another exciting part of Fife’s ambitious contributions to the City Region Deal programme.
“Our focus through the i3 Programme has been on innovative, inclusive, and fairer economic growth across Fife. We want everyone to benefit from good employment opportunities, creating high value, better paid jobs. These pledges ensure that we will continue to develop a local economy that is inclusive, sustainable and prosperous for all.”
Councillor Euan Jardine, Chair of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region Joint Committee said: “Community wealth building looks to change the way that our economies have come to function by aiming to increase the flow of wealth and opportunity for the benefit of local people.
“Implementing these pledges into local economy strategies is a vital aspect of the Edinburgh and South East Cities Region Deal. These pledges ensure that future investment and progression through the deal will prioritise the benefits for local communities.”
For more information on the Community Wealth Building pledges, visit: https://cwb.esescommunities.org/cwb-pledge-and-cles.html