Mark Whitehead 08 March 2016

Fast growing cities bid for devolution role

Fast growing cities bid for devolution role

The Government should give more help to medium-sized cities which are among the most economically vibrant and innovative places in the UK, according to a new report.

The Fast Growth Cities group which represents Cambridge, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Swindon and Norwich (pictured) says they are playing an increasingly important role in the national economy, with higher productivity levels than bigger cities such as Manchester and Birmingham.

They also have higher than average levels of employment and business start-ups and are among the fastest growing places in terms of population.

But the report, Fast Growth Cities: the opportunities and challenges ahead warns that the cities face challenges which threaten to undermine their success including increasing demand for housing, transport congestion and a shortage of skilled workers.

It calls for greater government recognition of the opportunities and challenges facing these cities and says it should help them as part of its devolution plans.

Centre for Cities chief executive Alexandra Jones said: 'The Government’s devolution agenda has understandably focused on boosting growth in some of the UK’s biggest city economies, many of which are punching below their weight economically.

'However, for the Government to realise its ambitions of building a more productive and higher-wage economy across the country, it’s crucial that it does not overlook the challenges facing the Fast Growth Cities group, which are among the most economically vibrant and innovative places in the UK.'

 
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