East Lothian is embracing Community Wealth Building - a progressive economic model being adopted by the Scottish Government. Community wealth building is a new people-centred approach to local economic development, which redirects wealth back into the local economy, and places control and benefits into the hands of local people. It does this through five pillars:

Plural ownership of the economy

Fostering more socially and environmentally orientated enterprises which are more generative for the local community. This includes social enterprises, co-ops and employee-owned businesses.

Progressive procurement of goods and services

Of large anchor organisations which regularly procure works/services. For example, a council may procure construction services to build local schools, or the NHS catering, cleaning and carer services. Community Wealth Building seeks to ensure as much of this is provided by local suppliers as possible. It also seeks to deliver meaningful community benefits from large contracts.

Fair employment and just labour markets


  • anchor organisations which hold significant employment potential, and
  • a diverse business base which favours flatter pay structures, employee rights etc.

Employers are encouraged to:

  • be Real Living Wage employers.
  • increase employment opportunities for local people and from priority groups. 2

Socially just use of land and property

Increasing the amount of land and assets that are owned and managed in ways which are generative for local citizens rather than enclosed by private interests.

Financial power

Ensuring flows of investment work for local people. Examples are increasing the amount of local investment in anchor organisation pension funds and supporting credit unions.

East Lothian has a sixth pillar - climate change

Progressing meaningfully towards net zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.

East Lothian has adopted Community Wealth Building in the East Lothian Plan and Local Economy Strategy, and as such it is a cornerstone for new community and economic development.

East Lothian also has a Community Wealth Building Charter being signed up to by local anchor organisations. Anchors and supportive partners include:

  • East Lothian Council
  • NHS Lothian
  • East Lothian Integration Joint Board/Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Volunteer Centre East Lothian
  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Edinburgh College
  • Queen Margaret University
  • East Lothian Housing Association

Community Wealth Building legislation is due out in 24/25.

These include young people with disabilities/long-term health issues; experiencing poverty and/or with caring responsibilities.

Email us with any enquiries


Listen to the Volunteer East Lothian Podcast and hear from Angela Lamont, East Lothian Community Wealth Building Officer who talks about her role applying community wealth building to East Lothian and also from the Bridges Project, a charity that works closely with the younger generation in East Lothian.

Listen to Podcast