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By Eve Lacroix(Communications Officer), Published

On Wednesday 19 April, representatives from the Islington Anchor Institution Network (IAIN) gathered at City, University of London to discuss their commitments towards bettering lives in the London Borough of Islington.

The IAIN is a network of 10 organisations that have made three commitments: to boost jobs and employment within Islington, to support local businesses in the borough and to work towards achieving net zero carbon emissions.

The meeting was organised to discuss progress made by the taskforces formed by the IAIN last September to respond to these three commitments, and was chaired by Islington Councillor Santiago Bell-Bradford, the Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs.

Cllr Bell-Bradford noted that between all 10 institutions, there are billions of pounds of spending power that can be reinjected into the borough.

Representatives from the IAIN explored ideas such as creating a shared database of local suppliers to encourage and track procurement expenditure within the borough.

Members discussed using their shared spending power to bulk-purchase renewable energy, thereby influencing the market rate of sustainable energy and bolstering work towards achieving net zero carbon emissions.

To boost job and employment opportunities, members spoke about creating a passport of transferrable skills for job seekers, hosting an employment fair and making better use of the government apprenticeship levy scheme.

Since the launch of the IAIN in September, the network welcomed the Business Design Centre as its tenth and newest member.

Kanan Barot, Assistant Vice-President for Civic Planning and Development, is leading the project for City. She said:

The event marked a huge step forward from September 2022 when we first pledged to start working on the aims for our Anchor Institution Network.

We have accomplished an enormous amount in the six months since, showing what cooperation and collaboration can achieve.

I am delighted about the beneficial changes that will occur within our borough through this work, the great relationships we are forming with our partner organisations, and the positive impact this cooperation will have on our University and our students.

Professor Sir Anthony Finkelstein, President of City, attended the networking lunch after the meeting. He addressed the network:

As members of the Islington Anchor Institution Network, we all play major roles in the local economy, together employing more than 22,000 people, and acting as purchasers, landlords and strategic leaders.

City has always been a civic university. We are proud of our place in the Islington community and the role we play in local life. As members, we are committed to our shared future and to work together to create wealth and opportunity, achieve net zero and to focus on fairness and equity.

This is important work and even more important that we do this collectively to use our influence to help shape the borough’s future.