Research Project

Mid-sized Cities: Ready to Meet the UK’s Biggest Challenges

NLGN has been commissioned by the Key Cities Group to undertake research into how mid-sized cities can contribute to resolving the big national challenges that the UK currently faces.
The first report, ‘Key Cities: Ready to Meet the UK’s Biggest Challenges’, can be downloaded HERE.

The report was covered by the Guardian Public Leaders Network and the MJ.

The ‘Key Cities: Ready to Meet the UK’s Biggest Challenges’ report is a position paper, setting out Key Cities’ three main arguments for Government to collaborate more effectively with mid-sized cities to respond to the UK’s most significant economic, social and technological challenges:


  1. Mid-sized cities are the key to a united country
    The population of the twenty cities currently comprising the Key Cities Group voted 60% Leave and 40% Remain in the June 2016 EU Referendum, compared to 52% Leave and 48% Remain across the UK. Working with mid-sized cities gives the Government the opportunity to bridge the social divisions exposed by the Brexit Referendum by reaching out to Leave voters and involving them more in the political decision-making that affects their day-to-day lives.

  2. Mid-sized cities are the key to boosting productivity and growth
    A growing body of evidence shows that mid-sized cities regularly outperform larger cities across Europe and provide a better economic and social return on both infrastructure and other investment. The twenty Key Cities are collectively worth over £116bn to the UK economy per annum. If the Government works with the Key Cities to raise their productivity level to the England average, they will add an additional £214bn to the UK economy over the next decade.

  3. Mid-sized cities are the key to an inclusive and rebalanced economy
    The Brexit vote revealed a growing sense of political and economic exclusion in the UK’s mid-sized cities. The Government cannot design and implement policies to reduce regional disparities and promote inclusive growth in all parts of the UK without working closely with mid-sized cities.

A second report will be published later in 2018, with proposals setting out the powers, freedoms and resources that the UK’s mid-sized cities would need to help boost productivity, promote inclusive growth and re-engage disillusioned communities in the political decision-making process.


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