What is Community Wealth Building?

Building community wealth for South Londoners is a conversation between local corporations (anchor institutions) and local small businesses, about ways to involve them more in the supply chain and create sustainable jobs.

Here in South London, we have our own way of doing community wealth building.  The activists have called it the Crystalisr Model.


Elsewhere in the UK, communities are doing community wealth building too.  See the Preston Model. Originally from the USA, community wealth building started with the Cleveland Model.

The Challenges for South London

The South London sub-region of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, and Sutton has some of the most well-to-do neighbourhoods in the world, so why do we need an initiative to build community wealth here?

Croydon contains areas of the greatest deprivation in the country according to the All-Party Working Group on Left Behind Neighbourhoods [Croydon deprivation]. Meanwhile, HMRC data reveals that Kington upon Thames comes BOTTOM in the London-wide league table of self-employed incomes [Kingston deprivation]. 


In South London, unfortunately, we are experiencing of crisis of plummeting self-employed incomes combined with rocketing unemployment.  This added to high (and rising) living costs, lack of affordable housing and the effects of Covid, means that more and more of our neighbours and family members are falling into poverty, or having to quit the area altogether.


Unless something is done soon our local economy will simply cease to be family-friendly and inclusive.  A response is needed urgently.  A response likely to involve many stakeholders, but community wealth building has been shown to have dramatic effects in Cleveland [Cleveland OH success] and Preston [Preston Lancashire Success].

Ted Howard on Building Community Wealth and Resilience - RSA Events

Ted Howard is co-founder and president of the Democracy Collaborative, and pioneer of the community wealth-building movement. In conversation with the RSA’s Anthony Painter, he shares his vision for a post-pandemic social and economic reconstruction rooted in community transformation

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