“Core Cities UK welcomes the publication of the white paper and the Government’s recognition of the importance of cities to the future prosperity of the UK and the post-Brexit economy. The ten Core Cities’ urban areas deliver 25% of the UK economy and 29% of its exports, yet their productivity is low by international comparisons.If they all performed just at the national economic average, it would put an additional £70-90 billion into the economy every year.
“Core Cities UK is committed to continued work with government to ensure an effective – and place-based - industrial strategy is delivered which can genuinely tackle low productivity, essential for the success of all our cities and the rebalancing of the UK economy. A large percentage of low productivity is linked to deprivation, and can only be tackled by effective public services.The strategy therefore needs to link to approaches which reform and strengthen the role of services in improving outcomes.
“We are pleased that Government has understood the importance of local places – recognising the importance of different clusters of economic specialisms in different parts of the country - and our suggestion that the Strategy should be delivered through Local Industrial Strategies.
“We are also pleased that the Government has taken on board some of our suggestions about what should be in a Local Industrial Strategy and acknowledged that they should be developed collaboratively. However, we would emphasise that all cities need to be able to drive forward local strategies, supported by their LEPs, not just those with Metro Mayors.
“We welcome the commitment from Government to rebalancing the national economy through high value infrastructure investments through the proposed ‘rebalancing toolkit’. Finally, trade and skills are both vital factors in a successful industrial strategy and the Core Cities are committed to working with Government to develop the proposals for Skills Advisory Panels and the proposed role of Trade Commissioners in preparing regional trade plans to maximise their impact.”
Cllr Judith Blake CBE, Chair of Core Cities UK, Leader of Leeds City Council