The Wakefield First Bondholder Scheme, is a Public/Private sector initiative organised to achieve economic growth in an economy affected by austerity measure.
The Wakefield Bondholder Scheme is an initiative with three core aims:
1. Accelerate the economic growth of the Wakefield District by branding, marketing and promoting it to a national and international audience;
2. Bring together privates sector business to share and learn from each other and explore supply chain opportunities; and
3. Work together to identify key sectors and develop clusters of key enterprises.
As UK government’s austerity measures have reduced funding for regional and local bodies public-private sector partnership initiatives increasingly tackle local economic priorities and deliver growth. In Wakefield one such initiative has been the development of the Wakefield Bondholder Scheme (WBHS). This is a public/private partnership aimed at showcasing the Wakefield District to national and international partners and investors. Driven by an entrepreneurial and private-sector ethos WBHS has successfully created marketing, branding and business networking initiatives that resonate better with the business community.
Private sector members make an annual cash contribution and often contributing other resources in kind as well. This funds the scheme’s activities and working in close partnership with the local authority and other bodies (e.g. the Chamber of Commerce) to ensure there is no duplication of activity. Thus, Wakefield Council can have greater impact with smaller budgets and the private sector gains greater influence over investment activity.
The local authority
Following an initial cash injection from Wakefield Council (staff time and set-up costs) the scheme is entirely self-financing with each member paying an annual fee dependent on the size of the business.
Evidence of success
The success of the model is gauged against the following criteria:
-The GVA growth of the district and tracked investment of over 500m
-The forum has brought together key businesses representing Wakefield’s leading business sectors
-Increases in employment and job quality (i.e. higher skills levels)
-Generated over 30 business events bringing together over 2000 business representatives
-Supported 5 successful international trade events for key business sectors
Potential for learning or transfer
Potential for learning or transfer:
1.Model for mobilising business stakeholders within a region or city economy to support regional marketing and branding initiatives and linking with other local and regional stakeholders in the public sector and R&D community in a practical demonstration of the quadruple helix innovation model;
2.Self-sustaining model: the businesses pay a subscription into a social enterprise vehicle as well as contributing time and skill resources to generate new activities and initiatives;
3.The WHBS have generated a range of high-quality marketing material and collateral which is innovative and much more commercial.
4.There is potential for the scheme to formally develop and register as a charitable social enterprise (for example under UK commercial law as a Community Interest Company, where the articles of association and any assets are tied into a “social cause”).
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