Strength in collaboration
Did you know … many of Sandwell’s largest organisations are working collaboratively to redirect wealth back into our local economy and give local people more control over it? Together they are the Sandwell Anchor Network.
What is an anchor network?
‘Anchor institutions’ are large organisations that have a strong tie to the area and are unlikely to relocate. For example: councils, NHS trusts, universities and colleges, housing groups and big established companies. Anchor institutions have a significant stake in a region, in terms of the jobs they sustain and the spaces they occupy. They have influence in the budgets they manage and the supply chains they use.
In 2020, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) recommended that Sandwell form an ‘anchor network’ – in which Sandwell’s anchor institutions use their collective assets and strengths to retain wealth in Sandwell, bringing economic, social, environmental and health benefits to people, communities and businesses in the borough.
Sandwell Anchor Network comprises:
Collectively, these institutions have a budget of more than £1.5bn and a workforce of over 15,000 people. By working collaboratively on procurement, employment and economic recovery, they can play a powerful role in ‘community wealth building’: shaping Sandwell’s economy to ensure local people and communities benefit from investments made here.
Their overarching vision is for the Sandwell Anchor Network to be:
‘A long-term collaborative commitment to using our assets to build a strong and inclusive economy in Sandwell.’
Who else is involved?
The Sandwell Anchor Network has the support of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Economic Intelligence Unit. They act as ‘project champions’.
How the Sandwell Anchor Network works
Representatives from each of our anchor institutions meet quarterly to coordinate their activity, agree on actions and steer the direction of the Sandwell Anchor Network.
Two project groups (one focusing on procurement and one on employment) meet every six weeks to further specific activities. A steering group meets every second month to check on progress and give direction to the focused project groups.
CLES is the lead project sponsor, monitoring the Sandwell Anchor Network’s progress and making an annual report.