According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the coronavirus pandemic has created a “perfect storm for councils, simultaneously increasing spending and reducing revenue-raising capacity”.

With less money available from Government grants, and council tax and business rate income likely to be impacted by COVID, the avenues to provide funding to deliver sustainable budgets and quality services are being narrowed even further.

Now is the time for councils to think seriously about opportunities to pursue commercial opportunities in a coherent and strategic way.

How we can help you become more commercial

The CIPFA C.Co team was created in response to the need to make local authorities more commercial. Our purpose is to help across all areas, from developing trading companies to considering options for fees and charges.

We have worked with a huge range of organisations over the years to help them refresh, refine and develop commercial strategies. We have the experience, the knowledge and the tools to help you and you need this support now more than ever.

Our assistance is focused on a number of core themes that we believe are key to creating a successful commercial strategy for you. These are:

  1. Purpose – helping to understand the drivers and constraints for your commercial ambitions and ensuring they align with your political priorities and values
  2. Business Case – developing a sound case to ensure any emerging opportunity is supported with robust and thorough evidence
  3. Governance – ensuring that the supporting management structures drive, assist and give direction to the activities
  4. Culture – recognising the behaviours needed to be commercial, the gaps that exist and the ways to address them
  5. Opportunities and Framework – understanding the market, sharing good practice and creating the mechanisms to deliver on the ambitions.
How can we help you achieve your commercial goals?

We have a number of cost-effective ways we can support you, depending on where you are on your commercial journey.

  • Commercial healthcheck – a rapid diagnostic to test the scale and coherence of your existing commercial strategy and how well it is currently delivering
  • Opportunity assessment – to understand where there might be opportunities for you and what you will need to do to achieve them
  • Commercial strategy development – working with your senior team to develop the key themes of a strategy that works for your council’s needs and context
  • Commercial awareness, training and upskilling – engaging with organisations, from the leadership to the frontline to develop a more commercial approach, including upskilling new trading company board members.

Tom Bowring, Finance Lead, Vale of Glamorgan Council, says,

“We found working with C.Co to be really valuable in re-energising our Local Authority Trading Company project, bringing challenge and experience, along with a sense of momentum, that will allow us to take forward the recommendations and deliver a successful project.”

To find out more about how C.Co can assist you in developing a commercial strategy, contact us on SpeakToUs@WeAreC.Co .