Growth is not experienced equally across society. Employment rates and income levels for white London residents are significantly higher, overall, than for those from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Whilst recent economic growth in London has created real opportunities for the Borough of Lambeth, it has also underlined the Council’s responsibility to ensure that its benefits are widely and fairly shared.

The problem

Economic growth in Lambeth over the past few years has brought a range of welcome benefits including a rise in the numbers of local jobs, thriving local businesses and greater leisure opportunities. However, like other inner-London boroughs, the benefits of this growth have not been evenly distributed.

In response, Lambeth Borough Council commissioned us to research and write an inclusive growth strategy highlighting key areas of economic growth and a plan for providing pathways to employment for those currently furthest from the job market.

The considerations

Inequality in economic growth is a systemic issue that requires a concerted and comprehensive response. To ensure inclusive growth in the local economy, the Council wanted to find ways to:

  • remove barriers to employment;
  • tackle obstacles to in-work progression; and
  • address issues of affordable living for those from BAME backgrounds.

The client also needed to balance inclusive economic growth with a drive to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.

The implementation

Working alongside their employees, we used the Council’s resources to establish three inclusive growth themes. These themes enabled the Council to realise their interconnected ambitions of productivity, fairness and resilience. We also identified twelve goals, with associated objectives and activities that could be used to measure progress against specific aims.

These goals focused on:

  • People – the delivery of long-term benefits to the people living and working in Lambeth by enabling everyone to find and stay in employment;
  • Business – supporting existing and emerging businesses, social enterprises and third sector organisations; and
  • Place – creating accessible, safe and welcoming places in which people want to live, work, visit and invest.

The benefits

The Directors of Sustainable Growth and Opportunity used our findings and strategy to create their business plan for the year, and to identify strategic partnerships with a range of businesses and communities.

Due to the unfolding impact of Covid-19, the Inclusive Growth Strategy for 2020-25 will now be revised to form the Economic Recovery Strategy for 2020-25. This carefully structured plan to ensure the inclusion of all those living in Lambeth seems more timely than ever.