Local Authorities as market makers in delivering an inclusive and fair recovery

Author: Dan Partridge

We’ve been fortunate to work with many local authorities over the past year to better understand both the impacts of Covid-19 on our communities and economies and work together to plan and deliver a recovery that is fairer and more inclusive.

In a time of sustained austerity and uncertainty for local authorities, one of our key principles has been to make better use of the resources and capacity that are already present within and amongst our communities.

We believe that with a little love, imagination and commitment many of the under-used assets in public sector ownership that already exist can play new and important roles in delivering greater ‘public value’ by supporting new amenity spaces for enterprise, training service access and community uses.

At the heart of this is defining and unlocking the role that local authorities can play as ‘market makers’ and addressing market failures that prevent under-used assets from adding real value for communities—which comes from enabling tenants and end-uses that are valued by the local community and are offered on fair and affordable terms.

PRD teamed up with Future of London3SpaceAlex Russell, & General Projects to publish Creating Public Value: how buildings can better serve our communities, a best practice guide for council regeneration and asset teams looking to transform under-used buildings for community benefit. The guide addresses local authority needs, challenges and opportunities when considering their potential role and future actions. The guide also introduces a range of viewpoints from practitioners across sectors and highlights a number of inspiring examples where this approach has been brought to into being.

As an organisation currently working with and for local authority clients around the country to scope, plan, mobilise and evaluate strategies for a wide range of assets in high street and town centre locations, the issues addressed in the guide—as well as the solutions on offer—really get to the heart of the challenges we’ve encountered.

Download Creating Public Value here or view Future of London’s debate featuring key research contributors here: