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Neil McInroy (Source: Coop News)

Neil McInroy joins TDC to advise stepped-up community wealth building program

Centering community and place Fighting for a new systemic vision


Contact: Isaiah J. Poole, Vice President of Communications
(202) 559-1473, Ext. 3012 |

As part of The Democracy Collaborative’s redoubled efforts to put community wealth building (CWB) at the center of all efforts to reconstruct our economy in the post-COVID era, we are thrilled to announce that Neil McInroy, one of the foremost applied local economic policy leaders in the United Kingdom, will be joining our team as a senior advisor.

McInroy will be central in helping The Democracy Collaborative build capacity to offer powerful new technical assistance to cities and local authorities in embracing, funding, and implementing multidimensional CWB strategies. 

McInroy joins TDC after nearly two decades serving as the CEO of the progressive “think and do” tank, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), based in Manchester, UK. Alongside a range of pioneering economic policy and practice work in the UK and beyond, McInroy was instrumental in leading the organization’s activity on community wealth building, including playing a critical role in the development of the “Preston model”—the grassroots strategy credited with revitalizing a post-industrial city in the UK and making it one of the region’s most successful economic revival stories. He subsequently advanced a range of tools and expertise that has seen CWB grow in many locations across the UK

McInroy has been involved in public sector and progressive economic policy and delivery in the United Kingdom for nearly 30 years, and was named one of the most influential people in local government in the UK. He has collaborated with a range of local, regional, state and national governments across Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia and is presently a community wealth building adviser to the Scottish government.

Building on lessons learned over the past decade in places like Cleveland, Ohio; Rochester, N.Y.; Preston, England; and northern Virginia, TDC’s new technical assistance capacity will enable local governments to step into their full potential as powerful engines to democratize local economies. These services will include a variety of critical interventions: public spending analysis, financial modeling, land and property asset review, democratic ownership models, and strategic advice on supportive regulations that would empower CWB.

Ted Howard, the president of The Democracy Collaborative, said the organization is eager to have McInroy working closely with the organization to develop and refine this technical delivery, starting with a deep-dive partnership with several local governments in the U.S. as well as help with global work.

“Neil brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our team and will help us to learn from what has and hasn’t worked in implementing CWB in the UK and to build out what needs to developed with all of our partners in the US context,” Howard said. “He is a great friend and ally and will be instrumental in positioning CWB as the mainstream of economic recovery for our communities in this era of crisis.”

“In leaving CLES, I knew I wanted to advance progressive economics and CWB in new contexts,” McInroy said. “TDC has given me a massive opportunity and a huge global challenge. I have long admired the work that TDC does and the individuals involved. To now be a colleague of theirs is both humbling and thrilling. I can’t wait to get cracking!”

Publication date: 2021-03-24

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