When the economic crash of 2008 happened and the banks needed bailing out, the City of Preston in Lancashire, refused to blame the poor or adopt an economics of austerity. Instead, they developed an alternative economy, which is being hailed globally as one of the most exciting possibilities for the future in terms of social justice, environmental sustainability and human flourishing. The ‘Preston Model’ has now been well publicised and is being considered by cities such as New York as a viable model for the future. It is based on a few key principles, one of which is ‘Anchor Institutions’ (which the health foundation have written about in some detail in terms of the role the NHS could play).
I could not recommend a better way to spend half an hour, if you want to be inspired and filled with hope about what is possible. I don’t think the Preston Model is perfect, nor would it claim to be, but it does begin to offer exciting options for a way ahead. Here is Cllr Matthew Brown, leader of the Council, talking about the key principles involved and how they are working in Preston. We were really happy to welcome Matthew to Morecambe Bay as we explore an economics that is fit for the future. Enjoy!