Key Cities response to Industrial Strategy Green Paper

Key Cities sets out roadmap to unlock Industrial Strategy growth opportunity worth up to £3.5 billion

Key Cities, the group representing cities across the UK, has today set out its proposals unlock up to £3.5 billion of economic growth and boost productivity as part of its response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper.

The flagship proposal – the creation of a £500 million City Industrial Growth fund  to pump prime industrial growth and productivity – would allow cities to stimulate industrial growth in their local area, against an identified set of outputs.

In the group’s response - United and Industrious - Working together to build the UK’s Industrial Strategy – Key Cities sets out a number of measures to empower cities and towns across the UK to drive productivity.

In return for receiving money from this fund, cities could commit to sharing up to 20% of any increase they receive in their business rate base to replenish the fund in a gain share arrangement with Government.

In the document, Key Cities sets out its support for the Government’s emerging industrial strategy as a way of promoting inclusive growth around the UK and its commitment to making it a success. However, it also warns that the Green Paper’s narrow focus on sector-based promotion represents a missed opportunity that fails to take into account the critical role that cities and towns can play in steering growth.

Key Cities argues that their cities and towns are the best engines of growth in the industrial strategy. They have room to expand and are agile enough to respond quickly to deliver the best return on investment – and still have significant industrial clout within the national economy.

The document is supported by a major report by the University of Leeds, which examines how Key Cities have enhanced productivity by collaborating across city and industrial boundaries in six sectors, advanced manufacturing, energy, education, marine and maritime, healthcare, and digital.  The measures set out by Key Cities are designed to build on these opportunities to create a more inclusive economy.

Chair of Key Cities Cllr Paul Watson said:

“The industrial strategy presents a generational chance for our cities and our country. Over the years, the UK has missed many opportunities to build competitive manufacturing and other export-oriented industries. This is a chance to put that right.

“Our research shows are cities are already moving forward to embrace the 21st century economy, and we want to work with the Government to ensure that happens. Cities like ours have pioneered cross-sectoral collaboration and are best-placed to seize opportunities and deliver the best return on investment – and that’s exactly what our country needs.”

To read a copy of the report please click here.