Preston city skyline

14 January 2020

A new initiative to help Preston businesses to become Real Living Wage employers is being launched at an event this week (23 January) held at the Harris Museum.

'A real wage for Preston' will see Preston City Council launch the initiative to businesses showing them the benefits that paying the Real Living Wage can have on their business, employees and the city as a whole. It will also be an opportunity to celebrate the dozens of Preston employers who are already paying the Real Living Wage.

Councillor Freddie Bailey, Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building at Preston City Council, said:

"The Council is proud to have been the first Real Living Wage Employer in the North, having paid the Living Wage for over 10 years. We are proud to say that close to 50 other businesses and organisations in Preston have joined us and pay their employees the Real Living Wage.

"Statistics show that average wages in Preston have increased more than the rest of the UK and the North West over the past eight years.

We want to continue this great work and are excited to launch this new initiative as we want to encourage other businesses and organisations to join us in providing a fair day's pay for a hard day's work.

"Many businesses have told us they want to be Real Living Wage employers but need advice and support on how to make that a reality. This event will answer these questions and provide practical advice to businesses on how to get started.

"Fair pay plays an important role in community wealth building and we're striving for Preston to not just be a city with Living Wage employers, but to become a Living Wage City. This new scheme will help us in this ambition.

"As a Labour Council we believe in positive economics and we want to do all we can to increase wages for those who live and work in our city. When workers in our city have more money, they spend more money which will boost our local economy and create more wealth, opportunities and jobs. This is the type of positive economics we want to further."

The free event will provide businesses with an opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the Real Living Wage and find out how they can become part of the initiative.

It will also be an opportunity to network with other likeminded businesses and organisations that operate in Preston with refreshments provided.

Further information:

  • The event takes place at the Harris Museum Refectory between 5pm and 7:30pm on Thursday 23 January 2020.
  • Businesses wishing to attend can find out more information and sign up here
  • Recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics show the percentage of Preston based workplaces paying employees less than the Living Wage is down to 19.7% from the previous figure of 20.5%
  • Preston City Council actively applies and prioritises the principles of Community Wealth Building wherever applicable and appropriate. Community Wealth Building is an approach which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone.