Centre for London report: ‘Making the Most of Local Authority Assets’

Credit: Simon – London Less Travelled (Creative Commons Licence)

“The cost of living is rising, threatening the standard of living of people across the country. Local authorities will be doing everything they can to support their residents, but money remains tight.” – Josh Cottell, Centre for London

In the report ‘Making the Most of Local Authority Assets’, Centre for London investigates how local authorities can make the most of their assets to generate local social value. This can be done by applying ‘community asset approaches’, or policies that help assets have a bigger impact on the local economy and society. Community asset approaches are applied in three ways:

  1. When buying goods and services
  2. When managing property
  3. Using local government pension schemes to invest locally

This report provides local authorities with a clear suite of actions to help maximise the impact of their resources and is based on interviews conducted with four different boroughs. The report first provides an overview of current knowledge and examines the barriers local authorities face in delivering increased impact. This is followed by a series of  case studies  showing best practice around procurement, property, and local government pension schemes. Key takeaways are outlined for each case study, as well aswhat made each successful in delivering greater social impact. Finally, the report examines how Londoners want to be involved in decision-making, providing insight into the ways in which local people should be included in decisions around council spending and property management.. 

Outputs of this report include clear recommendations for policy and practice for each type of asset. The final chapter of the report provides further steps local authorities can take, going beyond the initial recommendations.

“By taking new approaches to managing the assets they already control – the money they spend, the property they manage, and their pension funds – our research finds that local authorities can get more for their money to drive local economic development,” says Centre for London. This report demystifies how.

Launch of the report "Making the Most of Local Authority Assets" by Centre for London.
The report was launched in September 2022 with a dynamic panel discussion featuring Michael Blake (RBKC), Antonia Jennings (CLES), Natan Dorono (GLA), and Shadi Brazell (Impact Investing Institute). Credit: Centre for London


  • Aishni Rao, Greater London Authority


  • Josh Cottell, Centre for London
  • Jon Tabbush, Centre for London


Related content