Community Wealth Building

According to the Scottish Government, Community Wealth Building is an internationally recognised approach to economic development as a key practical means by which Scotland can achieve its wellbeing economy objectives outlined in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET).

Community Wealth Building is designed to harness the economic leverage of local ‘anchor’ organisations (such as local councils, health, universities, colleges, housing associations, or large local private sector employers) to tackle long-standing systematic challenges and structural inequalities within our communities. It seeks to transform our local and regional economic systems to enable more local communities and people to own, have a stake in, access and benefit from the wealth our economy generates. Community Wealth Building can deliver more and better jobs, business growth, community-owned assets and shorter supply chains creating greater resilience and supporting net zero ambitions.

CWB acts as a framework for activity across five interlinked pillars:

  • Spending - Maximising community benefits through procurement and commissioning, developing good enterprises, fair work and shorter supply chains.
  • Workforce - Increasing fair work and developing local labour markets that support the wellbeing of communities.
  • Land and property - Growing social, ecological, financial and economic value that local communities gain from land and property assets.
  • Inclusive ownership - Developing more local and social enterprises which generate community wealth, including social enterprises, employee owned firms and cooperatives.
  • Finance - Ensuring that flows of investment and financial institutions work for local people, communities and businesses.

Community Wealth Building and the Supplier Development Programme

Through SDP's corporate membership model, as well as delivering a range of Meet the Buyer and Meet the Contractor events, supply chain collaboration is championed and outcomes are recorded independently, seamlessly feeding into the sustainable procurement approaches of all 32 Scottish local authorities.

The Supplier Development Programme is an established and trusted route to leverage knowledge that eliminates outdated models of larger primary contractors setting up disjointed individual programmes for supply chain development and Community Wealth Building events and information.

Acquiring knowledge from the ground up can be expensive, so taking advantage of the extensive experience and connections of SDP's model of connecting buyers and suppliers is economical in terms of cost and time.

The Supplier Development Programme is proven to help deliver Community Wealth Building action plans, by building awareness of local businesses about supply chain and Community Wealth Building opportunities, demystifying the process, and supporting local firms to take part in public procurement contracts.

Some examples of Community Wealth Building initiatives in which the Supplier Development Programme has taken a supportive or leading role include:

Ayrshire Meet the Buyer Event

East Ayrshire Council, North Ayrshire Council and South Ayrshire Council, in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme, hosted a pan-Ayrshire ‘Meet the Buyer' event online on 28 April 2021. The theme of the event was "Community Wealth Building." The Chief Executives of all three Ayrshire councils set the scene and gave suppliers an overview of how procurement is integral to economic development, as well as current and upcoming projects like the Ayrshire Growth Deal. The formal agenda also included a presentation on how to be invited to Quick Quotes with all three Ayrshire Council procurement staff, during which suppliers were able to ask questions in a live question and answer session. Energy giant Vattenfall UK joined Scottish primary contracting civil engineering firm RJ McLeod, a corporate member of SDP, to talk about Community Wealth Building and supply chain opportunities related to its renewables project at South Kyle Wind Farm.

  • Prior to the event, there were 659 supplier attendee bookings on the SDP website.
  • On the day of the Ayrshire Meet the Buyer virtual event, in total, there were 391 participants made up of 317 supplier attendees and 74 exhibitors/speakers/public sector colleagues.
  • Of these, 199 attendees were from 179 unique Scottish SMEs/supported businesses.
  • Included within this number, there were 22 unique businesses based in East Ayrshire, 29 unique businesses in North Ayrshire, 23 unique businesses After the event, 91% of suppliers said they were more likely to bid for public sector contracts as a direct result of South Ayrshire.
  • After the event, 91% of suppliers said they were more likely to bid for public sector contracts as a direct result of participating.

Stirling Council Community Wealth Building Event

Stirling Council, in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme, hosted a Community Wealth Building Supplier event at the Albert Halls in Stirling on 12 July 2022. Local businesses were invited to engage with the Council about Community Wealth Building, as well as exhibitors from the public sector, private contractors and local business support providers with the opportunity to raise their profile for upcoming contract opportunities at this in-person event. During the half-day event, Stirling Council introduced and outlined its Community Wealth Building approach and demonstrated a collaborative approach to supplier support and engagement. The launch of the Community Wealth Building strategy included sharing Stirling Council’s forward pipeline, capital delivery plan, and raised awareness of the potential opportunities that will arise in 2022/2023. Businesses learned about forthcoming Stirling Council contracts, supply chain contracts and the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal.

  • Prior to the event, there were 98 supplier attendee bookings on the SDP website.
  • On the day, there were 46 attendees at The Albert Halls.
  • Of these, 38 attendees were from 30 unique Scottish SMEs/supported businesses.
  • Included within this number there were 19 unique businesses located in Stirling – nearly two-thirds (63%) of all Scottish SME and supported businesses that attended were based in the region where the event was hosted.
  • After the event, 77% of Scottish SMEs said they were more likely to bid for public sector contracts as a direct result of participating in the event.

Robertson FM Talking Tenders Event

Robertson FM, in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme, hosted a free Talking Tenders webinar in January 2022 that focused on a Hard FM Services contract opportunity for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

  • In total, 118 suppliers attended the online event to find out how to engage with the Robertson FM supply chain. This included 95 attendees from 78 unique Scottish SME businesses.
  • Nearly all Scottish SMEs (96%) that provided feedback said they were more likely to bid after participating in the event, and almost two-thirds (65%) of those businesses felt more positive about potentially working with Robertson FM.
  • Stephen McDonagh, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Procurement Manager, said: “SFRS recognises that SMEs, including third and fourth sector organisations, can support economic growth and employment in Scotland. This is particularly important in the recovery from COVID-19. As a member of SDP, SFRS understands the difficulties that SMEs face accessing relevant opportunities for them, such as those which are present in contracts like the Hard FM Services contracts, which is the largest contract to date awarded by the SFRS. As such, we are delighted and encouraged to see such great attendance at the recent SDP webinar held to assist SME businesses understand the potential opportunities with Robertson FM in the delivery of our Hard FM Services Contract. As detailed in our Corporate Procurement Strategy, we are committed to improving the access to such opportunities, and the event hosted in January by Robertson FM and the SDP is pivotal in support of this.”
  • Sean Hunter, Operations Director for Scotland, said: “Robertson FM became members of SDP with a view to support our aim of engaging with a wider and more diverse supply chain across local communities in Scotland. At a recent event, organised in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme and our client, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Robertson FM was introduced to more than 100 suppliers that we may otherwise have been unaware of, which will be key to the successful delivery of our Hard FM contract with SFRS. We look forward to building upon this solid foundation and putting the expertise of SDP to work to continue our commitment to an open transparent supply chain.”

  • Driven forward by SDP, this partnership approach to supply chain engagement and CWB was recognised with a ‘Highly Commended’ rating at the GO Awards Scotland 2022/23.

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