Cheshire West and Chester Council held its first inclusive economy conference, reimagining the West Cheshire Economy, this week at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall.
It was attended by over 70 delegates, including representatives from business, public sector and the third sector. The conference formed part of the public engagement on the new Inclusive Economy strategy, seeking to produce a greener, fairer and stronger local economy.
Delegates heard from a range of expert speakers, including representatives from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and Plymouth Inclusive Growth Group, on how the Council, other local organisations, and the delegates themselves could contribute to an inclusive economy. Private, public and third sector organisations discussed issues ranging from fostering a diverse workforce to planning and designing better places.
A new West Cheshire Anchor Network was announced during the Conference. The Network is a partnership of organisations in the borough, all having significant employment, procurement and civic responsibilities, and who are enthusiastic to work together for the benefit of local communities.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration said, “The West Cheshire Anchor Network includes fifteen local organisations coming together to explore ways to deliver local value, support the long-term recovery of the borough from the pandemic and move towards a more inclusive economy.
“It’s all about making our local economy greener, fairer and stronger. We have an economy valued at over £10.5 billion a year, but not everyone is benefitting from this.”
The anchor network members are:
- Cheshire West and Chester Council
- Cheshire College South and West
- Cheshire Fire Service
- Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership
- Cheshire Police
- Cheshire West Voluntary Action
- Chester Zoo
- The Countess of Chester Hospital
- The Grosvenor Estate
- United Utilities
- The University of Chester
- Weaver Vale Housing Trust
- West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Between them, the West Cheshire Anchor Network own and manage a huge range of assets across the borough, employ well over 10,000 people and have a combined budget in the billions. Leaders from each network member will meet on a quarterly basis, chaired by Councillor Beacham, to explore opportunities to work together. They will consider procurement and social value first.
You can still contribute to the Inclusive Economy strategy by getting involved in the public engagement at: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/inclusive