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Health and Inclusive Economy

Calendar icon Economy and Work, Health and Care

Folder icon Jan 2019 - Ongoing

Recognising that economic factors are fundamental determinants of population health, we have developed a programme of work in partnership with the Glasgow City Region Programme Management Office to explore opportunities to put health, wellbeing and inclusivity at the heart of economic decision-making across the Region.  

Community wealth building (CWB) approaches underpin this programme: a local economic development approach focussed on building collaborative, inclusive, sustainable and democratically controlled local economies. 

objectives icon Project objectives

  • To better integrate public health and economic development priorities, with a focus on creating an inclusive economy
  • To have a dedicated Programme Manager jointly employed with Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow City Region Programme Management Office (PMO) to oversee development of the project.
  • To advance community wealth building (CWB) approaches as a fundamental element of economic decision-making in Glasgow City and the wider Glasgow City Region. 

involved icon What is involved

The Programme Manager is embedded within the Glasgow City Region Programme Management Office, with responsibility for an ‘inclusive economy’ programme 

Key areas of work include: 

  • The ‘Fair and healthy work’ programme within the Regional Economic Strategy and Action Plan – encompassing the ‘workforce’ pillar of community wealth building and broader work to influence income, wealth and inequality in Glasgow City Region. 
  • Establishing and developing a regional Anchor Network. Members are senior representatives of a range of public, private and third sector anchor organisations from across the Region. Meeting regularly for ‘anchor accelerator summits’, the Network has the collective power to influence the regional economy through member organisations’ role as employers, procurers, and owners of land and property. 
  • Advancing work, with an Action Group, on Making Glasgow City Region a Living Wage Place to increase the number of businesses/employers paying the real Living Wage, with a focus on sectors where low pay is a particular issue.
  • Developing and implementing a Good Employment Charter for the Region to promote the benefits of equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and to support employers to create workplaces that embrace the characteristics of good employment in ways that ensure fair pay, opportunity, and progression to all.  
  • Development of a programme to support people to remain in fair and healthy work, recognising a growing trend in people falling out of the labour market, particularly where mental and or physical health conditions are a factor.  
  • Evaluation of the Glasgow Economies for Healthier Lives project, to promote health and inequality considerations in capital spend projects across the Region. [link to that page here]
  • Contributing to the broader City Region priorities and programmes, with the Programme Management Office team.  

findings icon Findings & outcomes

Community wealth building (CWB), by its nature, is place-based and context specific. The Glasgow City Region is committed, in the Regional Economic Strategy and associated Action Plan, to create an inclusive economy, underpinning which is building community wealth.  

To do so relies on the intentional actions of anchor organisations in the Region, including local authorities, to take a people-centred approach to their economic activity, redirecting wealth back into the local and regional economy, and placing more control and benefits into the hands of local people. Anchors (those organisations that are rooted in place) do this through their spending/procurement practices; via the land, property and other assets they own; by their employment practices (fair and healthy work); and more. 

Community wealth building approaches are now well established in some places and therefore it has been possible to evaluate impact. Preston is the most notable UK example: recent work found that during the period in which the community wealth building programme was introduced, there were fewer mental health problems than would have been expected compared with other similar areas, as life satisfaction and economic measures improved. 


  • 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 success of work to create an inclusive economy, and of community wealth building in particular, is down to the commitment and collaboration of ‘anchor organisations’ – those that are 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.  

Output icon Project outputs


resources icon Further resources & reading

Inclusive economies - supporting policy development (SIPHER)

SIPHER Inclusive Economy Dataset (local authority level): Interactive Map

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 

Intelligence Hub - GCR focussed initially on ‘spending’ and ‘land and property’, producing papers on these aspects. 

From an agreeable policy label to a practical policy framework: Inclusive growth in city-regions Waite D, Whyte B, Muirie J. European Planning Studies 2019.

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