The UK’s 11 Core Cities and 24 of their universities have set out a radical new vision to work together to help the UK prosper post-Covid.
In a joint declaration cities and universities set out how they can boost and broaden research and development spend, create high skilled jobs and help to level up the UK’s nations and regions.
The 11 cities, which include Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Belfast, already deliver 26 per cent of the UK economy and play host to almost 40 per cent of all UK university students.
In their joint declaration to government ministers, City Leaders and university Vice-Chancellors call for the establishment of new City Innovation Partnerships (CIPs). They also say that local leaders need greater local flexibility in the delivery of skills, employment and job creation programmes.
And they call for the introduction of a Cities Trade Package and a new UK Urban Trade and Investment Strategy to help reposition the UK internationally.
Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of Core Cities UK and Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This is a very challenging time for both universities and our cities, but we must start to plan for a better future.
“Our core cities and their universities each have distinct industrial and research strengths. They also have enormous potential to generate innovation-led economic growth to benefit the towns and communities in their wider regions. But we need government to work with us to realise that potential.
“In what I hope will be the start of a productive dialogue with government, this joint-statement sets out how they can collaborate with local on-the-ground expertise to drive national post-COVID recovery, rebalance R&D investment, and level up the economy.
“As the UK continues to explore new global markets and opportunities post-Brexit, we also want to take advantage of our cities’ and institutions’ growing reputation as major hubs for innovation and research excellence.
“We invite ministers to consider our proposals carefully and meet with us to discuss a way forward.”
Universities signed up so far are:
Birmingham City University
Glasgow Caledonian University
Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place
Leeds Beckett University
Leeds Trinity University
Liverpool John Moore’s University
Liverpool Hope University
Manchester Metropolitan University
Queens University Belfast
Sheffield Hallam University
University of Birmingham
University of Bristol
University of Glasgow
University of Leeds
University of Manchester
University of Sheffield
University of Strathclyde
University of the West of England
Universities for Nottingham (Nottingham Trent University & University of Nottingham)