Community Wealth Building

The Project

Is about creating a resilient and inclusive economy for the benefit of Torbay. It’s about making more local employment in our area and a larger and more diverse business base, ensuring that wealth is locally owned and benefits local people.

Adopting this approach provides value for our communities wherever possible, through the goods we buy, people we employ, assets we own and the powers we have that can bring about change to maximise Torbay’s local economic opportunities.

Using the principles which sit behind community wealth building we can achieve this through:

  • Progressive procurement of goods and services – procuring goods and commissioning locally, to develop dense local supply chains within our local business community and stimulate employment by retaining a greater propensity of wealth locally.
  • Fair employment and just labour markets – progressive practice to stimulate the local economy and bring social improvements to local communities, by recruiting from lower income areas, commitment to paying the real living wage, and creating career progression opportunities.
  • Plural ownership of the economy – wealth generated within the economy to stay in the local area.
  • Making financial power work for local places – directing financial investments through pension funds and local authority investments towards local priorities and bringing transformative capital to locally rooted enterprises.
  • From socially productive use of land and property – through the development of underutilised assets for community use.

Anchor institutions

To achieve the most value and benefit for Torbay we work closely and collaborate with our local anchor institutions; our place-based organisations, invested in Torbay:

  • Torbay Council
  • Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust
  • South Devon College

These organisations spend substantial amounts of money that is retained within our local area. They cannot relocate to another part of the country, have significant procurement and investment spend which can be spent locally and their economic potential harnessed.

Anchor institutions have a collective interest in seeing their local area improve and we are always looking for opportunities to collaborate further.

Community Wealth Building Memorandum of Understanding

This memorandum of understanding (MoU) sets out how we as anchor institutions will work as an organisation and with partners, from the goods that we buy, to the people that we employ, the assets we own, and the powers that we have, to bring about positive change and maximise the local economic opportunities.

Case Studies

The project

Turning Heads is a community interest company that is helping to build a community that values and empowers togetherness across Torbay. The organisation works with vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the local area, including families, children, and people with learning disabilities.


The challenge

Torbay is the most deprived local authority in the South West and one in three people live in places that are in the top 20% most deprived in England.

With increasing demand for their services, Turning Heads wanted to expand the scope of their social enterprise so that they could do more to tackle inequalities and food poverty across Torbay.


The solution

In August 2022, Turning Heads was awarded £10,000 in funding from the Torbay Social Enterprise Grant (TSEG); a scheme set up to support the development Torbay’s social enterprise sector and to strengthen the local economy through Community Wealth Building which is championed by TDA.

Turning Heads used the money to secure local premises and launched several new initiatives to help the local community, including:

  • Affordable recipe boxes which are delivered across Torbay to vulnerable people
  • A ‘Social supermarket’ that provides food to the public at a fraction of the cost
  • Learning space and lessons to promote family cooking and healthy eating
  • Cooked meal services
  • Rental space for other voluntary groups and social enterprise groups to utilise

They were also able to create five new jobs for local people with disabilities, helping to stimulate the local economy further and providing additional incomes for local people.

CEO of Turning Heads, Alan Tilley, said: ‘’The Torbay Social Enterprise Grant Funding has been crucial in growing Turning Heads CIC; both in terms of staff numbers and our service offer to the local community.  As a Community Interest Company, we rely on grant funding to be able to continue to deliver affordable or free services to those who need it most. The cost-of-living crisis has exacerbated the need for access to affordable food and Turning Heads are committed to supporting the community through a range of services and resources, whether that is through our free family cooking sessions, recipe box deliveries or the newly opened social supermarket.’’


Supplying Torbay

Find out how to access local public sector procurement opportunities:

Social Enterprise research

Commissioned as part of Torbay’s Community Wealth building approach:

Community Wealth Building