Health and inclusive economy

Recognising that economic factors are fundamental determinants of population health, we have developed a programme of work in partnership with the economic development department at Glasgow City Council to explore opportunities to put health and wellbeing at the heart of economic development decision-making in the city.

A jointly created post, ‘Programme Manager, Health and Inclusive Economy’, has embedded a member of the GCPH team within economic development at the Glasgow City Region Programme Management Office (PMO) with the aim of better integrating public health priorities and economic development.

A central focus is supporting community wealth building (CWB) approaches as a fundamental element of economic recovery, renewal and reform in Glasgow City and the wider Glasgow City Region.

Community wealth building graphic - if you require a transcript or an accessible version please email is a local economic development approach focused on building collaborative, inclusive, sustainable and democratically controlled local economies.

A range of organisational policies and practices need to be put in place to work towards the goal of broadly sharing the available assets in the Region, including financial wealth as well as land and property, for example. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach – CWB approaches must be relevant to place to create a stronger, more inclusive economy.

The Glasgow Economic Recovery Group have embedded community wealth building approaches in their plans for recovery, renewal and reform (PDF).

You can also download a short document outlining the key messages about health and inclusive growth in Glasgow (PDF).

This Scottish Government infographic outlines how community wealth building is underway in Scotland in different ways, through locations, sectors and projects (PDF).

This report provides a baseline assessment of the expectations and priorities of the various interests involved in the Glasgow City Region 'Economies for Healthier Lives' project at the end of year one.

Glasgow City Region is one of several geographical areas in Scotland working alongside Scottish Government to take forward CWB as an economic development approach. As CWB is place-based and context specific, each of the areas are developing their CWB work differently.

Key to the success of CWB is the commitment and collaboration of ‘anchor organisations’ – large scale, often not-for-profit, organisations rooted in place. Through collective social responsibility, anchor organisations have the power, as employers, procurers and owners of land and property, to generate change at scale; shared goals and collective mission are needed. Anchor organisations have leverage to stimulate the regional economy, with great potential at the scale of the GCR.

Work is on-going to identify the Region’s anchor organisations – to include local authorities, universities and colleges, housing associations, NHS boards, and large private and third sector employers, amongst others – and drawing on learning from elsewhere, make recommendations for action to foster anchor collaboration. Notably, commitment to CWB is required both strategically and at practitioner level across the anchors to create real change.

The Programme Manager is also supporting a ‘community of practice’ for CWB work across the Region. This group will continue to develop over time, bringing together individuals from various organisations and sectors who have experience of and/or a commitment to support evidence into action in terms of the regional approach to CWB.

A shift to CWB approaches has implications for how economic success is defined and measured. Monitoring and measurement of CWB work calls for indicators that better capture sustainable and shared prosperity. The GCR is well-placed, with the Intelligence Hub, to track progress of CWB in the short and longer-term with a greater focus on indicators of a ‘wellbeing economy’.

For more information on this work, you can contact Val McNeice.

Relevant seminars

GCPH Seminar Series 19: Lecture 2 - Sarah McKinley
Community wealth building as health building: how a local democratic economy can create healthy, thriving communities

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PHINS 2021 Webinar 3: approaches to address post-COVID societal inequalities
Speaker 1 Neil McInroy - Community wealth = good health: rewiring an economy that works for all
Watch on our YouTube channel  

GCPH Seminar Series 17: Lecture 1 - Dr Angela O’Hagan
#CaringEconomyNow: A Call to Action

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GCPH Seminar Series 16: Lecture 3 - Katherine Trebek
Beyond surviving to thriving: understanding the ambition of the wellbeing economy agenda

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