Leaders from Rochdale’s Anchor institution met on 6th March this year at the Unique Enterprise Mill. Health, leisure, education, housing as well as fire and rescue were represented.
Anchors had previously met five months earlier and so there was plenty to catch up on what good work Anchors had been doing to create “a good local economy” in the Borough i.e an economy which offers good jobs, good services, good communities and more locally owned businesses with strong social values.
The final wording for a Rochdale Stronger Together Pledge had been agreed and both HMR Combined Commissioning Group (CCG) and Pennine Acute Trust had formally adopted it; joining RBH and Hopwood Hall which had previously formally committed themselves to being Anchors in the Borough (see the text of the pledge at the bottom).
There were also plenty of examples of Anchors working to increase the amount of money they spend locally, as opposed to outside of the Borough, and examples of looking to employ local people as well as offer opportunities to gain skills.
A guest speaker Dr Julian Manley, Chair of Preston Co-operative Development Network and research fellow at the University of Central Lancashire spoke to partners about the Preston Model, how it was seeking to emulate the Mondragon Co-operative Complex and how in Preston they had already delivered real positive change through the development of an anchor model.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the meeting was when Anchor decided it was time to turn talk into action and committed to three pieces of joint work:
- Hold a workshop on how to understand on what one’s organisation is spending it’s money and whether money is then staying in, or leaking out, of the local economy
- Hold a workshop on how to employ more people from the Borough, as well as offer them opportunities to gain skills through apprenticeships and volunteering.
- Develop some governance proposals to be considered at the next meeting which if agreed would help make Rochdale Stronger Together a formal and more permanent partnership.
With plenty to do going forwards, Anchors finally agreed to meet in July to review progress in delivering the above three objectives.
Agreed Rochdale Stronger Together pledge for Anchor Institutions in Rochdale: