Building the Local Economy: From Preston, UK to Cleveland, OH
Produced by Laura Flanders (2018)
This is a fascinating documentary about empowering local communities. It offers an in depth exploration of the so-called “Preston Model” of community wealth building.The Preston Model is based on the “Evergreen Model,” adopted by Cleveland’s cooperative movement. Although the UK city of Preston (pop 130,000) is much smaller than Cleveland, the economies of both communities have been devastated by the loss of heavy industry that previously supported them.
The goal of both models is to strengthen local economies by
- promoting buy-local campaigns
- actively procuring local investment
- lobbying local government and “anchor” agencies (schools, hospitals, etc) to buy locally
- pressuring local government to invest pension funds and tax remittances in local businesses
- investing in apprenticeships and retraining programs
- campaigning for a living wage in all industries.
The most interesting part of the film is an interview with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Preston’s MP), who explains how the Labour Party is systematically rolling out similar programs in other councils they control.