As we strive for projects that can make a difference to the structural problems of the current economic system, it is in the local community where the everyday effects of the economy are experienced. Our local economies strand is therefore designed to create an avenue for community-level economic change to be supported.
Our aim for this part of the programme is to support a series of projects rooted in a local area that can fill a gap between micro community projects and systems change initiatives. We are looking for what is in between, something that derives its inspiration and learning from the very local but answers bigger questions about how our economy needs to change. We think that our funding can be most useful in supporting projects that:
- Take a test and learn approach at a local level
- Involve genuine engagement of local people and support local leadership
- Can show how there will be ownership of the benefits at a local level (increased power, asset ownership, greater sense of control)
The types of local projects that we will fund could be a community led approach to land stewardship, community-driven industrial regeneration, new approaches to community energy that are truly inclusive across different demographics, testing community wealth building methods or innovative ways of working with local authorities to create bottom up change.
Common reasons for projects being rejected from the local economy strand of work include:
- They are focused on service delivery
- There is no wider applicability from the very specific area they are working in
- They don’t show any learning from or awareness of what has happened elsewhere – a lack of collaboration and communication.
- There is no element of systems change or upstream thinking; instead they are focusing on dealing with symptoms, demonstrating short term rather than long term thinking.
If you think you have an idea that you wish to operate at your local level, but that could really demonstrate how things could be done differently in our economy, please do look at our advice on how to apply.