The Core Cities Group today welcomed the publication of the ‘Heseltine Review’, No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth, which makes 89 recommendations for greater economic stability and growth, improving the UK’s productivity and performance. The proposals centre on measures to unleash the potential of local economies and leaders, including support for cities to raise their game.
The report was launched in Birmingham, one of the Core Cities, where Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham said:
“I very much welcome Lord Heseltine’s report, on behalf of all the Core Cities, his passionate commitment to localism and his recognition of the importance of our cities. Amongst the many proposals in the report, by far the most important is the creation of a single funding pot for economic development, infrastructure investment and skills which would be devolved to local areas. This echoes our own call for a more localist approach and the proposals I recently put to the Prime Minister. Giving the cities control of that range and scale of resources would enable us to drive growth and job creation more effectively than ever before.
“Lord Heseltine is right to call for a bolder approach to localism and for the restoration of the powers of our great cities. The current centralised approach will never unlock the investment and the enterprise we need to get growth moving across the country.”
The political leaders of the Core Cities have worked together for more than a decade to increase their competitiveness and economic contribution to the national economy. Between them their wider urban areas contribute 27% of England's economy, more than London, and are home to 16 million people.
Around 6.5 million people are employed across the Core Cities urban areas, including, for example, 21.5% of the total financial, professional and business services employment within the UK, a sector which is critical to future growth.
Chris Murray, director of Core Cities said:
"Core Cities already contribute hugely to the economy, but we know that with extra tools for the job we can do much more. Coming on the back of City Deals, these proposals mark a further significant shift toward devolution. The recommendations clearly recognise two vital strategic points. Firstly, that putting more control over the levers of growth at the local level is more efficient and gets better results. Secondly, that rebalancing of the economy means improving the productivity of big cities across the country, as well as the south east. It’s not ‘either or’, its let’s get the best we can wherever we can, and we look forward to working on implementing these recommendations.”
You can read Lord Heseltine's report here.