Mark Whitehead 24 April 2019

Think tank calls for ‘new relationship’ between employers and communities

A new relationship is needed between major employers and their local communities, according to a new report.

Think tank Localis says 'local economic anchors' should join forces with ‘place’ to deliver economic success.

New productivity deals would form a social contract with business to balance increased productivity with benefits to local communities and support the growth of local employers.

The report, ‘Prosperous Communities, Productive Places’, says there should be a longer-term dialogue between place and its largest employers about growth, guided by a shared ambition for community wellbeing.

It warns that without a new deal some places risk becoming trapped as ‘doughnut economies’ where the wages of residents remain much lower than those of the commuters who journey into their areas to work with major local firms.

Localis chief executive Jonathan Werran said: 'History teaches us that when communities prosper, businesses prosper.

'In the straitened economic and troubled political waters we find ourselves in, local industrial strategies provide a sturdy life-raft in which to navigate these rough seas.

'By realising the positive effect of successful local economic anchors in building prosperous places, local areas will attract and grow productive businesses: this in turn will further strengthen the communities in which businesses are based in a positive cycle of mutually-reinforcing prosperity.'

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