The Missing Multipliers: Devolution to Britain’s Key Cities

Publication Details

The Missing Multipliers: Devolution to Britain’s Key Cities positions the needs of Britain’s Key Cities at the forefront of the devolution debate, advancing the argument that mid-sized cities are the‘missing multipliers’ in the current drive to generate both economic growth and public service transformation.

It recognises the important role that Key Cities play and calls for greater powers and freedoms which would see their vital contribution to the national economy soar, improving lives and saving billions of pounds in public spending. Key recommendations include:

  • Right to Challenge: Failing centralised public services should be shown the ‘red card’ and their work should be brought under the control of local communities and councils.
  • The new Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill needs to give the fullest possible devolution of funding and powers to all cities, towns and counties..
  • Cities need to be helped to pool their resources in areas of expertise and success, to bring prosperity to local communities.

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said:

“This is an exciting time, and I very much welcome this valuable contribution to the devolution debate. The role of Key Cities is critical to the UK’s economic growth, and I am pleased that so many of them are playing a central role in shaping the devolution proposals currently being negotiated with the Government. I would encourage them all, individually and collectively, to ensure that they continue to influence these negotiations to ensure they deliver the powers and flexibilities they need to maximise their future economic growth.”

The report is also backed by Lord Heseltine, who has championed more help for the regions and advises the new Communities and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark. He said:

“The devolution agenda is gathering pace. Over the past five years we have witnessed the beginning of a process to reverse the centralisation of decades. I welcome reports such as ResPublica’s “The Missing Multipliers: Devolution to Britain’s Key Cities” because they add to the momentum and widen the horizons of all those involved in the process.”

Report author and director of ResPublica, Phillip Blond, said:

“With a combined GVA of £163 billion and a population of 7.9 million, the Key Cities make a vital contribution to their regions and to the national economy. Together they represent 11% of the UK Economy (13% of England’s total GVA) and contain some of the fastest growing cities by GVA; Milton Keynes, Bournemouth and Cambridge, for instance, are all growing faster than the national average.”

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  • Phillip Blond


    Phillip is an internationally recognised political thinker and social and economic commentator. He bridges the gap between politics and practice, offering strategic consultation and policy formation to governments, businesses and organisations across the world. He founded ResPublica in 2009 and...

    Phillip Blond
  • Mark Morrin

    Principal Research Consultant

    Mark is an experienced policy and research strategist with over 20 years working in partnership with businesses, public bodies, cities and counties to develop successful place-making strategies. Mark has contributed widely to research and policy developments in the UK with...

    Mark Morrin

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