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UCLan hosts Guardian Live showcase of 'Preston model'

Wednesday, 7th March 2018

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will host a debate organised by The Guardian designed to shine a light on Preston’s model of a more local, community focussed economy.

The Guardian Live event on Monday, 12 March, will look at how Preston, despite the effects of austerity and cuts, has struck out on its own, adopting a form of guerrilla localism and encouraging the development of local co-operatives and urging large ‘Anchor’ institutions to keep their money in the local economy.

Under the initiative, Preston City Council became the first northern city to implement the Living Wage and the Council and other large placed based institutions have joined together to redirect contracts towards local businesses and helped them to reorganise their supply chains so that goods and services are bought locally wherever possible.

The debate will look at what has become known as the ‘Preston model’, asking should other cities be following its path? Is this how we fix the broken economies of Britain? 

Guardian senior economics commentator Aditya Chakrabortty will lead a panel in discussion of the Preston model and how to create stronger, fairer local economies. The panel will include Preston City Councillor Matthew Brown, Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan, 2017 Turner Prize winner and UCLan Professor of Contemporary Art Lubaina Himid and Ruth Heritage, Creative Director of They Eat Culture.

UCLan is a key local partner in the local procurement initiative and is working with Preston City Council to drive it forward, along with many others who were some of the first to get involved including Lancashire County Council, Cardinal Newman, Preston's College, Lancashire Constabulary and Community Gateway.

Dr Julian Manley, UCLan Research Fellow, has been working on the scheme.  He commented: “We’re looking forward to hosting this Guardian Live debate and promoting the idea of local initiatives and a strong co-operative culture. 

“UCLan is already working with Preston City Council and other local community organisations to drive the local economy and build up community.  In the last 12 months, working in partnership with the Council, we have welcomed John McDonnell MP, Ed Miliband MP and actor Michael Sheen to the University for various events based around the Preston Model.”

Tickets for ‘The Preston model: How to fix a city’ are £5 and available to purchase on the Guardian website  

The event in UCLan’s Darwin Lecture will begin at 7.00pm on Monday, 12 March, and run for 90 minutes with no interval.  Wheelchair users and visitors who require an assistant may bring a companion free of charge. To book a free companion ticket please email

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