Making the most of local authority assets

This project looks at how local authorities can use property, procurement, and pensions to improve their local economy while also involving local people in decision making.

Over the last decade, policymakers and activists have become increasingly interested in community wealth and asset approaches as a way to include social value in local economic decision-making, rather than just up-front costs. As part of these approaches, ‘anchor institutions’, like councils, hospitals, and universities, are encouraged to spend their money locally, hire locally, and use their property and financial resources to drive sustainable development. 

Many of the well-known cases of community wealth and asset approaches have been in deindustrialised areas, like Preston and Cleveland. However, there’s now widespread interest across the political spectrum in adapting these approaches to London’s unique context. This is despite the challenges posed by London’s overlapping sets of governing authorities and anchor institutions that cross borough boundaries.

This project will explore the challenges and opportunities of adapting the ‘three Ps’ of community wealth and asset approaches to London: property, pensions, and procurement. Through a literature review, interviews with residents and experts, and an in-depth study of a selection of London boroughs, we will investigate how local authorities can adapt these models to:

  • Get local people involved in local governance 
  • Measure social value 
  • Use pensions and other financial assets to benefit residents 
  • Partner across boroughs 

We aim to publish a final report in autumn 2022. If you are interested in getting involved in the research, please contact Josh Cottell. 


This project has been generously supported by