A new devolved future for Britain’s mid-size cities

Project Details

The challenge: An unequal and diverging Brexit Britain

Britain’s cities and regions face real and growing challenges post-Brexit. It is vital that growth is delivered across the country. However, the UK’s inter-regional inequality is the worst in the OECD and its governance is amongst the most centralised in the world. But, while regional inequality is a priority that has to be addressed, the fast growth potential of all places, including small and mid-sized cities must not be constrained. Delivering balanced growth will require more even distribution of higher level skills, as well as investment in local infrastructure, technology, research and development. This needs to be delivered at the same time as the transformation of public services to meet the needs of current and future populations. It will also require strong and unified local leadership.

The opportunity: Moving beyond the Metro-mayors

The metro-region approach has proved difficult to translate to smaller cities and rural areas. New approaches to local growth and reform are desperately needed. The Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper has made clear that it views collaboration between businesses, universities, and local leaders as vital to transform the prospects for growth. From a place-based perspective, this represents an opportunity to review existing institutional relationships and shape a new devolution that respects strong local identities while providing the right powers for the future.

Our work: Delivering for places

“Newport commissioned ResPublica to help us strategically reinvent the city in light of our unique role in the history of British democracy. The city council were delighted with the resulting piece of work, which set out a visionary agenda that will provide the basis for forthcoming initiatives to realise the Newport of tomorrow.”
Will Godfrey, CEO, Newport City Council

ResPublica have been at the forefront of the devolution debate, working with cities and places to establish a new economic, social and cultural settlement. Our ideas have been adopted by Government and successes have been achieved with our larger cities agreeing deals and gaining additional powers. Now, we’re looking to accelerate the pace of change and put real power in the hands of cities, and councils as their stewards.
ResPublica provides a range of services to city leaders and place-makers including:

  • Strategic advice: to help navigate the underlying policy dynamics, to identify key priorities and to build wider engagement and support with Government and business
  • Research and analysis: to establish the evidence base, to map capabilities and identify strengths and assets which can help tell the ‘story’ of place and form a vision and narrative for change
  • Brokering: to help negotiate and broker the right deal
  • Advocacy: to build support within Westminster and Whitehall and across the political parties
  • Media and communication: to position, develop and communicate effective messages that influence change.

We can help your city or county – Contact our deputy director Matthew Cheadle to find out more at matthew.cheadle@respublica.org.uk, or call on 020 3857  8313.