The Preston Model – an online library of video & audio resources.

By Dr. Larry Reynolds, ICSC.

The Preston Model of community-wealth building led by civic, cooperative and community initiatives, marks a significant development. It comes at a time of growing experimentation arising amidst the exhaustion of the established economic and political paradigms.

These developments form an important focus for the new Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change (ICSC), based here at UCLan in Preston. Our research engages with different local communities on issues of citizenship, equality, wellbeing and sustainability, especially through our key thematic areas of community and the public realm and social justice and sustainability.

Members of the Institute engage in research around local food networks, cooperatives, energy re-municipalisation, energy democracy, sustainable transport, community building, healthy cityscapes, community cultures and more. We believe our research must cross different disciplines and also engage with the many different kinds of experience and expertise beyond universities, to help address the complex, real-world problems around us.

Our transdiciplinary research agenda aims to work in partnership with cities, towns and local communities as they grapple with pressing problems of economic, social and environmental well-being and sustainability. ICSC members have expertise in forms of engaged, participatory research that bring forward the views and experiences of multiple communities, especially the marginalised and excluded.

This is the mission being taken up by a new wave of transdiciplinary Civic Universities around the world. How can research at the ICSC and UCLan help build more sustainable, equal and prosperous communities around us?

Our transdiciplinary research also attempts to reflexively combine the practical with the critical, collaborating to find solutions while thinking outside the box. For example, while localism and local economic strategies bring benefits, we must also critically asses their potential limits and pitfalls. Other questions may include: How might local action by civic authorities, citizens groups, communities and cooperatives be brought together at the regional, national and international scales to bring about transformative change? How will the emerging civic, community and cooperative economies relate to the more traditional economic actors of state and market? We are living through times of great crises and experimentation, where old models are falling apart, and the new is still struggling to be born.

This page will serve as a library for a range of resources on the Preston Model, for all those who are interested in exploring these important developments. Preston’s new localist strategy has generated a number of news and magazine articles, films and radio broadcasts, as well as presentations and debates at policy and academic conferences around the world. We will keep updating this page as new items come to our attention. Keep checking! And feel free to suggested items to add – just contact us here.


BBC Radio 4. Will Self on the Preston Model. From Will Self’s Great British Bus Journey. First broadcast on 05 February 2018.

Picture linked from


The Laura Flanders Show. June 2018. United States based journalist follows the links between the Preston Model and the ‘Evergreen Cooperative Model’ in Cleveland, Ohio.

The full film is 25 mins, but first brief excerpt of just 48 seconds, which serves as a good introduction to key aspects of the concept.

48 second excerpt: What is the Preston Model?


Full Video: The Laura Flanders Show SPECIAL REPORT: Building the Democratic Economy, from Preston to Cleveland. June 2018.


Short film made by the Journalist Hazel Sheffield, (Guardian, Independent, Vice News) on The Preston Model.

Hazel documents alternative economies in the UK with a grant from the Friends Provident Foundation. You can follow her work at Far Nearer and on her twitter feed.


Matthew Jackson – Centre for Local Economic Strategies – The “Preston Model” – National/Global perspectives.

Matthew Jackson, Deputy Chief executive CLES speaks at the ‘Health and Wealth Conference’, Learning for Public Health, West Midlands. January 2018.

Matthew Brown, Preston City Council and Emma Hoddinott,  Local Government Officer, Coop Party. Applying “the Preston Model” to the cooperative economy. 

Presentation to the OPEN 2018 conference, July 2018, London. Open Co-op: Collaborative Technology for the Cooperative Economy.

Audio: UCLan Research Fellow and ICSC member Dr. Julian Manley on the Preston Model and Cooperatives. May 2018.

Julian Manley radio Interview about the Preston Model and Mondragon Cooperatives by Marie McCahery for the “Why Don’t Economists?…” programme broadcast on Bradford Community Radio BCB106.6FM. May 2018.

Matthew Brown talks (in 2014) about Preston City Council’s Community Wealth Building Initiative with Anca Voinea, journalist at Co-operative News.



The New Municipal Energy Companies and Local Democracy.

Dr. Larry Reynolds, of the ICSC at UCLan, researches the attempts to de-privatise and re-localise the energy supply by the new UK municipal energy companies. In 2015-2016 he conducted a research programme on energy municipalisation (funded by EDF R&D), while he was a resident fellow of the Paris Institute of Advanced Studies. The two videos below examine aspects of energy re-municipalisation in the context of local economic strategies.

Larry Reynolds (IEA Paris): “Cities, Citizens and Social Justice in the Energy Transition”. Video of Presentation to the international colloqium on ‘Justice and Climate Transitions’ Paris, September 2015.


UCLan’s Larry Reynolds, 2015-16 resident fellow of the Institut d’études avancées de Paris, presentation to the international conference: Les Territoires de la Transition Energetique. May 2016, Paris.

00:13 Dr. Stephen Hall (Leeds University) : “Distributing Power: What does civic energy need to thrive?”

27:24 Dr. Larry Reynolds (IEA de Paris) : “Municipal Energy Transition in the UK – investigating new forms of public ownership at the intersections of market, state and civil society”


Phil Brennan of APSE (Association of Public Service Excellence) Local Energy Collaboration on the UK energy re-municipalisation. BBC Radio 4, Oct 2017.

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