Delegates from 9 cities across Europe have gathered in Preston with us to discuss boosting the local economy this week as part of an URBACT project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
This network of cities, known as Procure, is being led by representatives of Preston City Council. Procure is interested in investigating how procurement processes can be changed to better support the local economy. If they are successful in their application to enter Phase 2 of the URBACT project, they will be examining themes such as EU legislation, spend analysis, the role of social value in procurement, raising awareness of the procurement processes of SMEs, the impact of procurement and environmental procurement.
While visiting Preston, the delegates have discussed how they will proceed if their application to continue is successful; visited a traditional country pub; and had opportunities to experience our city centre.
Councillor Matthew Brown, Executive Member of community social justice, inclusion and policy for Preston City Council, says “It has been our pleasure to welcome our European partners to Preston. There’s a growing demand for innovative ways to boost the local economy and we are proud to provide leadership in this project. Much of our income is raised locally and it is important that we re-invest tax-payers money for the benefit of the local economy.
Now’s the time to rebalance the economy towards a fairer, democratic and more community-minded future. It’s great to have Preston at the heart of this initiative, which is gaining strength across Europe.”