Local economies

Marking one year of the Community Wealth Fund Alliance

One year on from the initial launch of the Community Wealth Fund Alliance, Margaret Bolton, Policy Director at Local Trust, reflects on what’s been achieved and looks to the year ahead.

On 6th August last year we launched the Community Wealth Fund Alliance (CWFA) with a small group of founding members and some trepidation about how it might be greeted. We were pleasantly surprised by the response we received.

Today, on our first birthday, we can celebrate a number of achievements. The Alliance has nearly 150 members. The membership includes important national charities like the Salvation Army, NCVO, Groundwork, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as well as many small charities and groups doing vitally important work in local communities. In addition, the proposal has garnered support amongst some key policy makers and opinion formers.

Highlights of our first year include Civil Society Futures recommending the establishment of the CWFA, reaching 100 members and recruiting our first private sector member, senior people within government expressing an interest, the NLGN recommending the proposal in their latest report, and the Labour Party proposing something very similar to the Community Wealth Fund in their civil society strategy, which suggested releasing dormant assets for community-led initiatives.

We’re pleased to celebrate the progress we’ve made in the last year but we’re conscious that there’s a lot still to do if we’re to achieve our objective of persuading government to dedicate the next wave of dormant assets – from bonds, stocks and shares, pension and insurance funds – to a new permanent endowment to support ‘left behind’ communities. Two of our key priorities for next year are to develop cross party support for the proposal and to grow private and public sector membership of the CWFA.

There seems to be a general consensus that the Community Wealth Fund is needed. People I speak to about it often describe it as a “no-brainer”, “essential”, “a brilliant idea”. Help us to persuade government of its merits on the basis of the enormous contribution it could make to:

“uniting our country, answering at last the plea of the forgotten people and the left-behind towns, by physically and literally renewing the ties that bind us together.”

A quote from our new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s speech outside no 10 on his first day in office.

Please support the campaign and join the Community Wealth Fund Alliance.

Local Trust brought the founding members of the CWFA together to develop the Community Wealth Fund proposal. It now provides the secretariat to the CWFA.