Unleashing Metro Growth

The City Growth Commission has produced it final report, containing a set of recommendations for national and local government. It considers how cities can take a new role in the political economy, creating stronger, more inclusive and sustainable growth in the UK.

The final report considers evidence heard by the Commission in the form of written submissions and evidence hearings, and discussions hosted by the Commission at seminars, roundtables and other stakeholder engagement.

The report draws on interim reports which have focused on skills, infrastructure, fiscal devolution and the role of universities in driving metro growth.

Key recommendations outline a significant shift – from the centre to metros – in policy and finance, enabling metro leaders to:

  • Coordinate resources across their city-region and make strategic policy and finance decisions via place-based budgeting and investment strategy.
  • Make more informed and responsive decisions based on evaluation of local data and evidence.
  • Develop effective ways of integrating public service reform and economic development.
  • Have greater flexibility over their spending and borrowing arrangements, including:

– Multi-year finance settlements of between five and 10 years,

– Retention of a proportion of the tax proceeds of growth; and

– Freedom for the most devolved metros to set and fully retain a suite of taxes.

Furthermore, metros should be represented in national decision making, bringing forward measures to enhance connectivity and growth, including:

  • A comprehensive review on how current and future needs for digital infrastructure can be met; and,
  • Accelerated connectivity between metros in the North, Midlands and other ‘super city-regions’.

Other measures include lifting the cap on Tier 2 (non-EU) migration, devolution of adult skills budgets, and additional support for universities to help fuel their local economy.

Date: 22/10/2014 Date of Publication

Author: City Growth Commission

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 4.2

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