Our first publication: Investing in our places: social and environmental value in procurement and beyond. 

An overview and conversation starter report, compiled by New Prosperity Devon Spring 2020. Updated Summer 2020

What does it mean to ‘belong’ to Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay, or to Devon? Large institutions between them spend hundreds of millions of pounds. Could more of this be harnessed to generate benefits for local people and businesses, whilst still achieving financial value?

How can responding to the climate emergency be part of the ‘social value’ that spending creates? What examples of inclusive growth, community building, social enterprise and other initiatives might we learn from?

These questions were important even before the Covid19 pandemic that swept the world. In 2020, we have collectively faced disruption and tragedy, and are facing a future that is fraught with uncertainty. The pandemic has further highlighted the cracks in our society,
economy and natural world, and so these questions are even more pressing, as we work out how to recover locally and globally. We have a choice to 'build back better', or to return to business as usual, a climate in crisis, and deepening global inequality.

This report was created to highlight a few case studies and opportunities as we collectively work to build back better, and we specifically look through the lenses of procurement, social and environmental value, and community wealth building. We highlight examples from
Preston, Plymouth, Cleveland and Barcelona, and touch on themes like food & farming, and local authorities. Already, pioneering institutions are discovering complementarities in progressing their social and environmental goals and achieving financial value.

This is not a comprehensive report, but is a resource designed to stimulate conversation and support learning, and is particularly aimed at local authority officers and staff from anchor institutions like hospitals and universities. The report -- and our website -- will evolve to
reflect up-to-date learning, case studies and good practice, recognising that there are many organisations working on these agendas in Devon and beyond.

"I welcome the publication of this report.  In the wake of Covid-19, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that every single pound of public money is used wisely and well. Public money should flow through our economy to maximise social value in the form of jobs, opportunities for local enterprises, and advancing zero carbon objectives. As localities look to rescue, recover and reform, it is essential that groups of local anchor institutions come together and adopt community wealth building initiatives. This report is an important conversation starter that will hopefully help to catalyse progressive action across Devon and beyond. "


Tom Loyd Goodwin, Associate Director, Centre for Local Economic Strategies 

"This report shows what’s really possible when public institutions are given the space and freedom to look beyond the direct, short-term economic benefits and consider the broader social value that can be gained by considering local and individual fulfilment. The richness of the examples shown here is a treasure trove of ideas for policy makers and service providers."


Madeleine Greenhalgh, Green New Deal Devon