Key Cities hosts packed AGM and welcomes Bradford to the Group

Three years since its inception Key Cities has welcomed Bradford, a city with a population of over half a million people, to the Group.

Representatives from the 26 member cities at the AGM also received presentations from the RSA's Inclusive Growth Commission and the LGA as priorities for the coming year we agreed and Leaders and Chief Executives discussed the impact of issues such as Brexit on the UK's mid-sized cities.

Cllr Paul Watson, Chair of Key Cities and Leader of Sunderland City Council, said after the meeting: "The Key Cities AGM is always an important date in the calendar for us and never more so than this year with the opportunity to feed into the debate around inclusive growth post-Brexit.

"The chance to reflect on work so far has underlined how much progress we've made as a Group in making the case for Key Cities as the engines of the UK economy and testament to that is the fact that we've welcomed a hugely significant new member city today in Bradford and considered applications from two other cities. We're looking forward to a busy but crucial 16/17."

As part of a packed agenda, elections of chair and the cross-party Key City Executive group also took place, with Leaders from across the network expected to take up portfolio areas under a refreshed approach to delivering the Group's objectives.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and member of the Key Cities Executive, said: "We've monitored progress of Key Cities since its inception and feel its well placed to offer a unified voice for cities like ours. The AGM is the first meeting of the Group that I've attended but the enthusiasm and commitment of cities around the table is clear and we're excited to be involved at what is such an important time for local government and those we represent."

Bradford's GVA is £9.2billion, it boasts a strong manufacturing economy and the youngest population in the UK. The city joins others including Southampton, Coventry and Cambridge as a member of the Key Cities groups which initially formed in the summer of 2013.

The Key Cities AGM took place in Bournemouth on 6 July.