Toggle menu

Community Wealth Building

What is Community Wealth Building?

Community Wealth Building is a people-centred approach to local economic development. It seeks to use the economic levers available to Local authorities and other 'Anchor Institutions' such as the NHS, further and higher education institutions, and larger private sector organisations, to support their local economies, ensuring that wealth is locally owned and benefits local people.

It's about working in partnership with communities and businesses to build a strong local economy which supports fair work, encourages local spend and uses the land and property we own for the common good.

There are five pillars to Community Wealth Building, the pillars focus on making sure that wealth is locally owned and benefits local communities.  The pillars are:

  • Plural ownership of the economy: a focus on developing different types of ownership approaches (e.g. co-operatives locally owned or socially minded enterprises)
  • Making financial power work for local places: increasing flows of investment within local economies, e.g. local authority pension funds are encouraged to redirect investment from global markets to local schemes and community owned banks and credit unions are supported to grow.
  • Fair employment and just labour markets: working with large anchor institutions to encourage them to pay the living wage, adopt inclusive employment practices, recruit from lower income areas, build secure progression routes for workers and ensure stable employment contracts and reliable hours.
  • Progressive procurement of goods and services: developing a dense supply chain of local enterprises, SMEs, employee-owned businesses, social enterprises, co-operatives, and other forms of socially rooted business, which can provide goods and services to the large local anchor institutions.
  • Socially productive use of land and property: ensuring that equitable forms of ownership, management, and local assets are developed, ensuring that any financial gain is harnessed by local people and communities.


The West Lothian Approach

West Lothian Council have been working with CLES, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, to initially scope out what the requirements would be for the development of a Community Wealth Building Action Plan for West Lothian. The report highlights 12 recommendations for actions that would achieve the desired community wealth building outcomes in West Lothian.

The report can be found here:  WL CLES Community Wealth Building Action Plan FINAL 14-07-2022 [483KB]

Place based Investment Programme

The Scottish Government's Place Based Investment Programme is intended to link and align place-based funding initiatives. The main objectives of are:

  • to link and align place-based initiatives and establish a coherent local framework to implement the Place Principle;
  • to support place policy ambitions such as town centre revitalisation, community led regeneration, 20 minute neighbourhoods and Community Wealth Building;
  • to ensure that all place-based investments are shaped by the needs and aspirations of local communities;
  • to accelerate ambitions for net zero, wellbeing and inclusive economic development, tackling inequality and disadvantage, community involvement and ownership.

In 2021/22 and 2022/23 Place Based funding in West Lothian has been allocated under the theme of community wealth building.

Five Place Based Investment Projects (opens new window) were approved by Council Executive in October 2021.

Four Place Based Investment Projects (opens new window) were approved by the Council Executive in June 2022.

Staff and Partners

The Community Wealth Building Team

To find out more about Community Wealth Building contact the Community Wealth Building Team, contact: (opens new window)


Related Projects