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Building Place Based Capital Across Australia

by | May 10, 2023 | Community Wealth Building

Local communities and organisations from across Australia are working together to create locally-focused and equitable sources of capital and locally owned and led investment vehicles to increase investment in local places and people.

Meaghan Burkett, Director at Ethical Fields, said “For too long local communities, business and councils have relied on temporary and ad-hoc funding and missed out on making the most of their own assets, investment opportunities and wealth creation.”

Ethical Fields is supporting local places who want to move away from this extractive model to something more regenerative, equitable, locally aligned, long-term and secure.

“Local people are eager to make a difference and invest in their region. There are development and investment opportunities in their local area. However, to capitalise on these opportunities, they require locally aligned capital. Beyond capital, they also desire more control and influence over economic and development activity. They would like to ensure the benefits of this activity flow back into the hands of local people and local businesses.” Ms. Burkett said.

In response, Ethical Fields have developed the Place Based Capital Program (the program). The program brings together a group of twenty local places and partners from across Australia to design and develop the capital and investment systems and structures they need to meet their local needs. The approach builds on the learnings and challenges of others that have tried to establish local capital and investment vehicles alone, by designing options that use collaboration and aggregation with other regions across Australia to achieve economies of scale and access to larger forms of capital.

Ms. Burkett continued, “A system and structure like this will drive locally-led and owned development, investment, and impact. It will provide a mechanism for local people and organisations to invest in their region and attract co-investment from outside the region. It will build local and inclusive ownership, control, resilience and prosperity.”

City of Newcastle has signed up to be part of the program as it complements the City’s economic development strategy goals.

“The City of Newcastle’s economic development vision is to: Strengthen existing and create new economic opportunities for all in the 2020s. This requires access to capital. There is enormous economic potential in developing local sources of investment capital and resources to support local business get started and grow. When money stays local it is an investment in the future of a place, and its circulation delivers multiplier effects and added value in each transaction.”

The program will capture and share learnings and outputs so that all places across Australia can build and benefit from place based capital. To receive program updates, sign up to Ethical Fields newsletter here.

For more information, contact:


Meaghan Burkett, Director Community Wealth Building

[email protected]

0407 024 036