Foundational Economy (FE) Challenge ~ Our project to promote community resilience and encourage local spending on support for people in RCT
From December 2019 to February 2021, Practice Solutions is undertaking a Welsh Government-funded project to explore how businesses in RCT could collaborate to deliver services that contribute to people’s wellbeing, increase community resilience and prosperity, and potentially enable those businesses to access more funding through public sector commissioning.
Following a successful bid to the Welsh Government Foundational Economy Challenge Fund, we have kicked off the project by making contact and building relationships with public services commissioners, businesses and advocacy groups within RCT to gain an understanding of the needs of each group, the barriers to local suppliers delivering public sevices, and the potential for businesses coming together and providing commissioned services.
The aspiration of the project is:
- for businesses in RCT to be encouraged and supported to connect with one another, to be able to deliver the services that keep people safe and happy in their homes,
- to broker connections between businesses and public services commissioners.
It is hoped the impact of the project will be to boost resilience, cooperation and compassion in the community and generate a best practice model for other areas of Wales.
The project is being carried out against a backdrop of challenging circumstances for RCT, firstly due to the devastating floods that took place in February 2020, and lately due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The project team is grateful to each and every person so far who has given their time to support this project, and we will continue to connect with people to explore how we can contribute to supporting community resilience.
More about the FE Challege Fund
The FE Challenge is a national initiative by the Ministry for Economy and Transport to support creative approaches for growing community prosperity across a sector known as the Foundational Economy. According to Business Wales, the Foundational economy is.
"The services and products... [that] provide those basic goods and services on which every citizen relies and which keep us safe, sound and civilized. Care and health services, food, housing, energy, construction, tourism and retailers on the high street are all examples of the foundational economy. The industries and firms that are there because people are there."
The FE is a key part of the Government’s long-term Economic Plan.
"The Economic Action Plan (EAP) has set the direction for a broader and more balanced approach to economic development with a shift towards a focus on place and making communities stronger and more resilient.
"The foundational economy approach offers the chance to reverse the deterioration of employment conditions, reduce the leakage of money from communities and address the environmental cost of extended supply chains."
Project Lead Dafydd Thomas said,
“We’re particularly interested in working with local businesses in the area who deliver services that keep people happy and healthy in their homes and communities. These might be local care providers, cafès, grocers, hairdressers, painters, gardeners... We’d really like to see if these smaller organisations are happy and willing to work together to provide services at a scale they’d never be able to deliver on their own.”
Click the video below for a brief introduction to the project.
For more details about the project, please contact Dafydd@PracticeSolutions-ltd.co.uk