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Together with a number of public sector partners we have made a collective commitment to tackle poverty and support inclusive growth in the borough. The Lewisham Deal – which was signed on Monday 15 July – will bring significant benefits for the local community, with more high-quality apprenticeships, a focus on promoting the Living Wage and additional investment in the local economy.
The Lewisham Deal was signed by Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, and leaders from Lewisham’s major anchor institutions – Lewisham Homes, Phoenix Community Housing, Goldsmiths, University of London, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, and Lewisham College. Together these organisations employ thousands of people and spend hundreds of millions of pounds through procurement.
Based on the community wealth building approach, the Lewisham Deal will mean seeking to boost investment in local small and medium sized enterprises and helping provide high-quality training and employment opportunities for local residents. The commitments in the Lewisham Deal cover procurement, apprenticeships, information and guidance, and the London Living Wage.
Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said ‘Lewisham is a great place to live with a strong and diverse community. Yet despite being situated in the heart of London, on the doorstep of one of the wealthiest cities in the world, tens of thousands of Lewisham residents live in poverty.
‘As the main employer in the borough and a significant source of investment in the local area, the public sector has a significant role to play in addressing the challenge of poverty. The project is aiming to bring the council and its strategic partners together to improve the livelihoods and future economic wellbeing of residents.
‘We will now be seeking to encourage more local employers to commit to the principles enshrined in the Lewisham Deal.
‘I am pleased to say that I have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with London South Bank University, creating an alliance to help establish how we can work more effectively together to deliver our corporate objectives in areas such as volunteering, adult education, construction, apprenticeships, workspaces and business support.’
Joe Dromey, Cabinet Member for Culture, Jobs and Skills, said ‘Two years ago, the Lewisham Poverty Commission highlighted the crucial role that the Council and the major anchor institutions in the borough could play in tackling the scourge of poverty.
‘As major employers and big spenders in the local economy, we have a vital role to play in helping promote inclusive growth by supporting local residents to progress and local businesses to flourish.
‘It is fantastic to see the Lewisham Deal come out of this work. It’s a commitment by Lewisham Council and our major public sector partners to invest in our community, support high-quality apprenticeships and promote the Living Wage.’
The Lewisham Deal partners are publishing a Social Value Report – the first of its kind in Lewisham – which sets out the impact they are having on the local economy. The anchor institutions will continue to report annually on the progress that they have made across these key areas. Next year’s report, due in July 2020, will also include a number of measures around the environment and health and wellbeing.