Skip to content
>> Home > Policy > Policy Briefs > Driving local growth: Lessons from the Preston Model

Driving local growth: Lessons from the Preston Model

illustration of city of Preston

The ‘Preston Model’ of Community Wealth Building (CWB) is an innovative policy intervention that ensures that local growth benefits local communities. 

A key component of the Preston Model is changing how procurement from anchor institutions takes place to reduce leakages from the local economy and raise levels of economic activity in the area, whilst facilitating the creation of local supply chains. Across the economy, the Preston Model has had promising results: in the first four years of its operation, local procurement spend increased from 5% to 18.2% within Preston and 39% to 79.2% in Lancashire resulting in strengthened local supply chains. Growth per head and labour productivity (GVA per hour worked) all grew faster than the UK average and unemployment shifted from above to below the UK average.

However, until now analysis has not centred on the experience of creative businesses. This briefing explores whether the Preston Model has worked for the sector, and finds that creative businesses do seem to have benefited from its interventions, with a set of anchor institutions underpinning 9% of turnover in those creative businesses in Preston interviewed by the research team in 2019/20. The report then goes on to explore what might need to be changed in order to maximise benefits to creative businesses. 

This insight briefing precedes publication of a paper commissioned by the PEC from the University of Central Lancashire. The full paper will be made available later in the year.

This policy briefing is being published as part of the PEC’s campaign Creative Places, which is calling for the government to invest in our local creative industries.

Please reference this paper as:

Whyman, P.B., Wright, A., Lawler, M. and Petrescu, A. (2021) Driving local growth: Lessons from the Preston Model. Preston: University of Central Lancashire funded  by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre. Available from:

Related Policy Briefings

National Theatre London -courtesy of Samuel Regan Asante
Policy Brief: Transitioning to Sustainable Production across the UK Theatre Sector

This policy brief outlines recommendations for transitioning to more sustainable theatre production …

O2 Ritz Manchester
Business model disruption and innovation during COVID-19 in the creative content industries

To understand how COVID-19 continues to affect the creative industries, we have consulted our Indust…

person sat viewing a tablet device
As lockdown eased: How our habits of cultural consumption at home are changing

The outbreak of COVID-19 and the halt on many cultural and creative activities, from live music, to …

young person drawing on white paper
Graduate motivations and the economic returns of creative higher education inside and outside the creative industries

Insights for policymakers The creative industries have experienced a glorious decade punctuated by a…

image of alleyway with sign for Centre Space Gallery
The importance of a UK-wide recovery plan for the creative industries

New research shows that following the global financial crisis in 2008 we saw an accelerated tre…

black iron railings with coloured bunting
How policymakers can support local growth in the creative industries

As part of our research agenda around local growth, we consulted our Industry Champions on…

image of woman looking at brick wall with white sheets of paper and post it notes
How evidence should guide manifesto promises on the Creative Industries

The creative industries – from film, to fashion, to creative technology – are rightly la…

stack of coloured pencils
The value of creative higher and further education

Insights from our Industry Champions As part of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (…

youngperson with wearing VR Headset
Beyond bailouts: three ways the upcoming Spending Review should support the creative industries

The creative industries – from film, to fashion, to creative digital – are now widely re…

person using stylus on tablet device
Understanding how our habits of cultural consumption changed during lockdown – wave 9 data

Insights from the nine-week study into consumers cultural consumption habits – data from wave …

interior of library
Authors’ Earnings in the UK

This policy briefing sets out areas for possible policy action, proposed by the researchers at CREAT…

TV with streaming app logos on screen
Television production, international trade and pressures to consolidate

The UK television production sector is one of Britain’s leading creative export sectors. This briefi…


Sign up to our newsletter