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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: 

Aston University

Birmingham City University

Cardiff 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

Northumbria University

Queens University Belfast

Sheffield Hallam University

University of Birmingham

University of Bristol

University of Glasgow

University of Leeds

University of Manchester

Newcastle University

University of Sheffield

University of Strathclyde

University of the West of England

Universities for Nottingham (Nottingham Trent University & University of Nottingham)