In October 2019, Power to Change’s ‘In our hands’ conference brought together 100 community business leaders, policy makers, business advisors and public sector officers from the Liverpool City Region Local and Combined Authorities to debate and agree ways of working together on priority areas including procurement, community buildings and spaces and future funding models for community business. The recommendations from the day were captured in this report.
Power to Change CEO Vidhya Alakeson commented: “Liverpool City Region is a remarkable place for community business. Since 2015 Power to Change has awarded nearly £5m to businesses that are owned by communities and trading to transform their neighbourhoods, across the city region. The ‘In our Hands’ conference in Wirral confirmed for us the huge value of enabling community businesses to engage in meaningful dialogue with local authority partners and demonstrated the significant potential for such partnerships to help build an inclusive economy. It was a pleasure to work with Wirral Council, as conference hosts, to create the forum for these partnerships to be explored and we are excited to continue to work with Liverpool City Region to realise the opportunities, building on the conversations that the conference started.”
Councillor Janette Williamson, Cabinet Member Finance and Resources & Deputy Leader of the Labour Group, Wirral Council, said: “I was delighted to have had the privilege of hosting the “In Our Hands” conference in October 2019 and the opportunity it provided to showcase Wirral to partners and community businesses from throughout the City Region and beyond. I recognise the huge potential and benefits for our citizens and the local economy when our public sector institutions and communities work together. The conference provided the perfect forum by which we could connect with key community stakeholders and listen to their ideas and concerns about how to create a more inclusive local economy, build community strength and resilience, retain wealth within our communities, and deliver sustainable impacts. Wirral will use the findings from this report to build on our existing programmes of Community Wealth Building, Social Value and progressive procurement to develop opportunities, skills, leadership and entrepreneurism across our Borough to maximise the value of our assets and provide vibrant economic growth to local areas.”