Working together to build community wealth.

The central idea of the Anchor Collaborative is that City and Hackney’s biggest institutions can collaborate to use their resources to tackle inequalities and build an inclusive local economy.

Anchor network graphic

Inspired by similar work undertaken in North America, the City & Hackney Anchor Collaborative was created in 2019 to explore how collective action could address local issues and deliver community benefits such as health, more inclusive growth and social wellbeing. 

Members include:

  • Hackney Council
  • The City of London Corporation
  • City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
  • The East London Foundation Trust,
  • the City and Hackney GP Confederation

What is an anchor organisation?

Anchors are often one of the major players in the local economy and can use this economic power to create wealth and improve opportunities for the people in that place. Anchor organisations can use many different strategies to benefit their local populations. Some of the most common ones include employment and HR practice, procurement and supply chain, investments, estates and community engagement.

Anchor organisations in recent years have become increasingly interested in how to use their economic power to build wealth within a local community, an approach also called ’community wealth building’.

Read ‘what is an anchor organisation?’

The work of the Collaborative

Facilitated by Renaisi, the City and Hackney anchor organisations collaborate to explore community wealth building opportunities.

Anchor network workshop

In Autumn 2019, Renaisi was commissioned to facilitate a series of workshops that identified two workstreams the City & Hackney anchors could collaborate on to deliver community benefits:

  1. Procurement
  2. Workforce

Since then, Renaisi has been working with staff from across the City of London and Hackney’s anchor organisations to explore how the ideas of community wealth building might be applied to these workstreams to create local benefit.

Despite the extreme pressure on the health and care system in 2020 as a Collaborative we were able to make progress across both workstreams.


Bringing together the procurement leads from each anchor organisation, we facilitated a combination of skills sharing and identifying opportunities:

  • looking at the existing data the anchors have about where their spend goes, and how much is directed into local suppliers;
  • hearing from different anchors about some of the amazing work they’re doing already to apply the Social Value Act, and support smaller organisations to engage with procurement opportunities;
  • exploring the pipeline of spending for opportunities to collaborate, and identified ‘catering and concessions’ as an area to test out some of the aspirations of the group.

Read more about the work of the Anchor Collaborative procurement working group.


Bringing together HR, workforce and employment leads across the anchors, this group has been particularly interested in:

  • exploring how the anchors might recruit to shared apprenticeship roles, and support rotational placements across the anchors;
  • early conversations about how to engage collectively with higher education partners;
  • the potential for a collaborative Kickstart bid that brings together organisations across the borough.

Read an update on the work of the Collaborative in 2020.

What’s next?

Work on the procurement and workforce workstreams continues and we’re exploring a third workstream around assets. This will involve a review of existing public infrastructure and how it can serve communities.

Through 2021 Renaisi will facilitate activities around the three workstreams, communicate and build connections as opportunities emerge, and help organisations find new ways to engage and communities to participate.

We’re looking at ways to spread and embed successful learning from applying community wealth building thinking to specific opportunities, such as local catering contracts. We’ll also support the anchors to take forward their plans around shared apprenticeships and hope to have a pilot up and running by the Spring.

Stay informed

If you’d like to keep up to date with the work of City & Hackney Anchors you can


Subscribe to #CityandHackneyAnchors

You can also follow @Renaisi, @Juliaslay and #CityandHackneyAnchors
on Twitter.

Julia Slay Renaisi Associate

Related content