Wales to trial ‘experimental’ Foundation Economy approach
by Thomas Barrett
Wales will be the first country in the world to embrace the ‘Foundational Economy’ approach, which says that public policy must not focus on private consumption to deliver economic growth but rather the quantity and quality of vital services and goods.
To support the model, 27 projects in the Welsh Valleys will share £2.2m of funding to improve local economies, which comes from the Valleys Taskforce’s contribution to the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund.
This fund aims to improve the way the local economy works in Wales in order to address the feeling reflected that parts of the country are being ‘left behind’ due to Brexit.
A recipient of the funding is the Rhondda Housing Association, which has been awarded £100,000 to renovate vacant premises and help to revitalise the local high street.
The funding will also allow them to employ a local supply chain officer who will work closely with community partners and local chambers of trade to share learning and build on success.
The housing association also plans to develop community businesses and support sole traders, which they say will unlock enterprise opportunities and turn ‘business ideas into reality.’
Luke Takeuchi, CEO of Rhondda Housing Association said: ‘We are delighted that Welsh Government has supported our bid as part of the challenge fund to support the Foundational Economy.
‘We plan to regenerate this key area of Tonypandy’s town centre and the foundational economy principles form a key part of our strategic thinking for the project. We have invested in this site as we feel there is genuine potential to better utilise local skills and creative ideas to develop a vibrant mixed-use site that will improve the health, wellbeing and prosperity of local people.’
The Valleys Taskforce was set up in 2016 has been working closely with businesses, employers and individuals in the region to make them aware of the types of support and opportunities available to them to boost their financial sustainability.
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