Plugging the leaks

making the most of every pound that enters your local economy

nef - economics as if people and the planet mattered
This is a nef programme supported by emda

Local Alchemy

Plugging the Leaks in the East Midlands

In every community, whatever the level of economic disadvantage, there exist the key elements for transformation. What has been lacking, is a way to release them.

The Elusive Magic of Sustainable Change

Across Britain, a huge amount of emphasis and energy are placed on the economic regeneration of disadvantaged areas. Often this takes the form of large-scale regeneration initiatives that do not fully meet local needs or aspirations, or indeed address the underlying causes of economic disadvantage. As a result, sustainable change, that is one that supports positive local economic, social and environmental outcomes in these communities remains elusive.

In many places, local energy and creativity becomes trapped, and different parts of the economy - local businesses, voluntary sector agencies, and the public sector - do not talk to each other to maximise local opportunities. Local Alchemy is an approach which seeks to harness the key ingredients of successful transformation.

Local Alchemy supports:

  • Individuals and groups in a community to take action to reinvent their local economy so that it delivers increased well-being and environmental sustainability rather than just having, and consuming more things.
  • Institutions and agencies to think differently about communities experiencing economic disadvantage. Challenging them to become responsive and solution orientated - focused on removing the barriers facing entrepreneurs and enterprise in areas experiencing economic disadvantage, and supporting them to use their procurement budgets to strengthen local economies.
  • Policy makers to rethink regeneration practice, and to put enterprise in its broadest sense, at the heart of regeneration.

The Local Alchemy process and content is built around supporting community-based action towards developing a more sustainable local economy - it takes a different approach to local economic development.

Local Alchemy in Action

Local Alchemy was piloted in thirteen communities across the East Midlands, supporting individuals and groups to reinvent their local economy.

Local Alchemy has worked in:

  • Derbyshire: Cotmanhay, Somercotes
  • Leicestershire: Beaumont Leys, Earl Shilton, New Parks
  • Lincolnshire: Gainsborough, Sutton Bridge, Mablethorpe
  • Northamptonshire: Delapre (Northampton), Eastfield (Northampton), Kingswood (Corby), Warkton, (Kettering)
  • Nottinghamshire: Sneinton (Nottingham)

Please view the list of Case Studies in the UK.

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