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Former chief economist at the Bank of England and incoming chief executive for the Royal Society of Arts, Andy Haldane, has today (Tuesday 6 July) called for a ‘fundamental rethink and refresh’ to our model of capitalism, to increase community power in the UK and overcome societal inequalities.

Speaking at Local Trust’s first ever Community Power Lecture, Haldane said “there is much further for us to go in enhancing community power and spurring community development if the large and long-standing problems afflicting the UK’s left-behind cities, towns and communities are to be tackled.

He continued by saying that “nothing short of a fundamental rethink and refresh of our model of capitalism is needed – a model of what I will call community capitalism.”

The speech, which took place at the Royal Society of Arts, saw Haldane address an in-person and live online audience as he made the case for social values and community institutions and infrastructure to be held in the same regard as markets and the economy, to help address long-standing inequalities in neighbourhoods across the UK. 

When considering how this might be achieved, Haldane said that centrally allocated pots of money often failed to provide the long-term finance needed to deliver long-lasting social infrastructure projects. Instead, he cited the Community Wealth Fund proposal and looked to the US and Biden’s recent announcement of a Community Revitalisation Fund as examples of how resources could be devolved to a hyper-local level to make a difference.

Matt Leach, chief executive of charity Local Trust, who organised the event said: “We are really pleased to welcome Andy Haldane to deliver this lecture and appreciate his sentiment in shifting more power and resources to communities. 

“Following the pandemic, we have an opportunity as a society to build something different, something better and Andy’s speech embodied that sentiment, with community at its heart.”

Read the full speech