Thirty years ago, the centres of big cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool were run down, dilapidated places, where few businesses wanted to locate and create jobs, and even fewer people wanted to live.
However, as recent Centre for Cities research shows, this picture has changed dramatically over the past few decades. The central areas of these cities are now vibrant and dynamic places to live in, and are increasingly the preferred locations for businesses in highly productive, highly skilled industries.
In Manchester, for example, the number of city centre jobs grew by 84% between 1998-2015, and the city centre population grew by nearly 150% over a similar period. Comparable transformations have also been evident in other big cities across the North and Midlands.