The Brighton & Hove Community Wealth Building Action Plan 2023


Community Wealth Building

Community Wealth Building (CWB) is a movement that seeks to use the spending power within a local area in ways that maximise benefits to local communities. This can include councils and other major ‘anchor institutions’ procuring goods and services locally; businesses committing to pay a living wage and actively recruiting from more deprived communities; developing and growing small enterprises, community organisations and cooperatives; exploring the use of physical assets such as land and property to support community growth and resilience; and encouraging greater community participation in decision-making.


Community Wealth Building at Brighton & Hove City Council

A commitment to Community Wealth building has been established as a thread through council policy.

The Council’s Corporate Plan (2019-2023) includes a goal for Brighton & Hove to become the UK’s leading city for Community Wealth Building, and CWB forms one of the three main priorities of the Corporate Plan.

This support is outlined in more detail in the Brighton & Hove Economic Strategy (2018-2023). Priority Action 5 of the strategy outlines a goal for developing long-term community capacity and citizen leadership:

Develop long-term community capacity and leadership to enable community wealth building, including: local procurement models to be rolled-out across other institutions such as anchor organisations – hospitals, schools etc, encourage community ownership of assets as a route to community wealth building; Promoting wider take-up of the Brighton Living Wage to encourage and support sustainable employment; Explore projects which provide a real opportunity for the city to nurture local sectors, skills development and enterprise. It involves promoting and supporting sustainable business practices including adoption of the Brighton Living Wage, investment in training and a reduction in exploitative working practices and contracts.



Existing Good Practice

Whilst the term community wealth building may be relatively new, it covers a number of long-standing themes around social value and keeping value local.  The council and city already have existing good practice.

·      The council has a Procurement Advisory Board, made up of elected members, which scrutinises all large procurements, and advises on ways that social value and CWB can be incorporated into those procurements.  For example, PAB scrutinised the corporate cleaning contract, and on their advice the contract was broken into 3 geographical lots to make it easier for local SMEs to bid.

·      The Procurement Team has appointed a specialist in Sustainability and Social Value procurement, to ensure the council is doing the most that it can to maximise benefits and keep the value of council procurements local where possible.

·      The Research and Innovation Fibre Ring (RIFR) is a project that saw the council secure government funding to deliver fibre in the city that could then be commercialised through a cooperative of local digital businesses and ISPs, with no one company able to dominate or monopolise the asset.

·      Also in the city there are great examples of community ownership of socially important infrastructure, such as The Bevy pub in Bevendean – which offers community benefits, as well as being a traditional pub.



The Work of the Community Wealth Building Member Working Group

In order to start the detailed exploration of what CWB might mean in Brighton & Hove, the city council worked with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) to develop a diagnostic report of local Community Wealth Building potential. The CLES diagnostic report set the 5 pillars that the Community Wealth Building Acton Plan is centred around, and started to suggest some areas for further action.

In January 2020 Policy & Resource Committee agreed the development of a programme to deliver this ambition, under the oversight of a cross-party Member Working Group.

The cross-party Member Working Group has been meeting to explore various topics, using the draft actions in the CLES report as a starting point. The topic areas have tended to fit within the five pillars of CWB.  Using the learning from these meetings, the working group has developed an Action Plan that will be rolled out as part of the programme. Again, the measures in this action plan are grouped along the lines of the five pillars.

Whilst the action to train decision makers in Community Wealth Building comes under the 4th Pillar (Socially productive use of land and assets), in reality it applies to all of the pillars and is a cross cutting action that programme would seek to assist the implementation of all pillars.


Expected Outcomes

Adopting a new and agile programme of CWB will bring a number of benefits to the city.  As well as the direct outputs of the action plan, below, it will generally result in:

·         An increase in local economic activity.

·         An improvement in health and wellbeing by supporting local organisations and supporting local people to be economically active.

·         Making Brighton & Hove more attractive place to work by supporting a fair and just labour market.

·         It will help local businesses to address recruitment and retention in key sectors.

·         It will Create local value growth through inclusive and progressive procurement opportunities.

·         It will ensure that local money and financial power is working for the benefit of the city.

·         It will encourage city wide collaboration by facilitating wider stakeholder participation.

·         It will empower citizens by supporting the development of community enterprises.

·         It will support local areas to shape their own neighbourhood through the 20 Minute Neighbourhood pilot scheme.



Action Plan


CWB Pillar


Outputs/Smart Targets



Progressive procurement of goods and services

1a) Implement the Environmentally Sustainable and Social Value procurement policies

-       Minimum of 10% of quality criteria in tender assessments dedicated to each Environmental Sustainability and Social Value.


-       Corporate Procurement Team are required to report through Procurement Advisory Board to Policy & Resources Committee with a progress update in April 2024 outlining what has been achieved.


Social Value & Sustainability Procurement Manager, Corporate Procurement Team


1b) Explore strategies to encourage smaller local firms to bid for procurement opportunities, such as:

·         breaking up tenders into smaller lots,

·         training sessions through local business groups, or

·         using more localised frameworks


-       Attend 2 events per year with local business groups to promote local tendering opportunities.

-       Each year (2023 – 2027) seeing increased % of spend going to firms in BN postcodes


Social Value & Sustainability Procurement Manager, Corporate Procurement Team


1c) Refresh the Social Value Framework and guides for Procurement


Encourage the Framework to be adopted or mirrored by local anchor institutions by using existing city partnerships as an anchor institutions network.


-       Framework refreshed and agreed by Q4 2023




Social Value & Sustainability Procurement Manager, Corporate Procurement Team



1d) Services looking at large outsourced procurements to consider insourcing options early in the process and report these considerations to Procurement Advisory Board


-       Reports to PAB on large procurements to include insourcing option consideration

Procuring services, Procurement Advisory Board


Fair employment and just labour markets

2a) Work with Brighton Chamber to hold a ‘Big Debate’ event to explore the appetite for a business-led fair work charter


-       ED Team to scope out options for a charter and review other examples (including think tanks and labour organisations). Spring 2023

-       Big Debate event held in October 2023, with Trade Unions invited.


Economic Development Team with B&H Chamber


2b) Support studies and feasibility work that examine the impact of a Four Day Working Week on local economies and productivity. Include a particular focus on how private sector companies in the city might use the 4DWW as part of their offer for attracting staff.


-       Continued engagement with the Four Day Working Week Campaign


-       Continue engagement with University of Sussex researchers


-       Monitor outcomes of ongoing feasibility studies, including tracking number of local businesses adopting 4DWW via a survey to be undertaken in October 2023.


Economic Development Team


Making financial power work for local places

3a) Address Financial Inclusion in the work around the Cost of Living crisis.


-       Financial Inclusion Strategy reviewed, streamlined and updated.

Policy Team


3b) Promote community savings and loans through Credit Unions, such as the Wave Credit Union.


-       Promotion via council channels, at least twice year (linked to either Credit Union campaigns or points in the year when cost of living issues are more pressing)




3c) Work with HR to promote Payroll Saving through the Wave Credit Union to staff and Councillors.


-       25% target for staff and councillors signed up.

-       Promotion at new Councillor Marketplace

Economic Development Team, working with HR and Communications


3d) Review and refresh campaigns to encourage local spending via ‘buy local’ messaging.

-       New buy-local campaign implemented and delivered with city partners

Economic Development, Communications


Socially productive use of land and assets

4a) Complete 20 Min Neighbourhoods Pilot Feasibility

-       Feasibility Completed April 2023

-       Pilot location(s) Identified April 2023

-       Funding for Pilot identified Dec 2023


Planning Policy Team


4b) Make better use of schools assets as hubs of community activity


-       Engage with School Business Managers to understand what constraints there are (e.g. school systems) – April 2023

-       Identify a site for a pilot project April – July 2023

-       Start Pilot September 2023


Economic Development and Schools Team


4c) Continue to embed CWB into our asset use decisions, both urban and rural.



Offer training for relevant decision makers and staff


-       Asset Management Board and City Downland Advisory Panel to lead on considering this, in line with their terms of reference.

-       Prepare Officer and Member training for Members on relevant decision making bodies (AMB and CDEP) and supporting officer teams – Sept 2023


Social Value Surveyor, Estates Team



Economic Development Team


4d) Continue to work with Community Land Trust to identify opportunities to transfer housing sites for community housing developments.


Consider other ways to support Community Housing such as through on-lending


-       Year on year increase in the number of CLT promoted housing units obtaining planning consents



-       Asses the success of the on-lending pilot agreed by Housing Committee (16/11/2022)

Housing Committee, Housing Team



Plural ownership of the economy

5a) Encourage and foster a cooperative development network for the city bringing together cooperatives and social enterprises and to encourage further development of new worker led organisations to fill gaps in the market



-       Identify lead facilitation organisation

-       Identify support needs to establish the network

Economic Development Team to work with city organisations


5b) Implement the Research and Innovation Fibre Ring project to enable cooperative access to, and ownership of, digital infrastructure in the city


-       RIFR Installation complete December 2022

-       Brighton Digital Exchange, Cooperative Network Integrators, BHCC and Mid Sussex District Council

Economic Development


5c) Explore options for local and inclusive business support, including looking at ways to continue funding the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (at Jubilee Library) when central funding ends in March 2023.


-       Funding identified for BIPC March 2023

-       1000 small businesses using the BIPC annually

-       14% of Businesses using the BIPC to be BAME owned businesses.

Economic Development Team and Libraries Services, via the BIPC