What is a good city economy?

  • A hospital embedded in its community as Cadbury’s is in Bourneville
  • A stigmatised estate in Wolverhampton being transformed into a hub for digital manufacturing
  • A community-run car park next to Liverpool football club creates a local investment fund to kickstart new businesses
  • Affordable homes are crowd-funded in Leeds

A new report reveals the cities at the forefront of a new movement to build neighbourhood wealth and prosperity.

Creating Good City Economies in the UK was launched at Impact Hub Birmingham on Tuesday 27th September.

The report is a joint project between New Start magazine, Centre for Local Economic Strategies and New Economics Foundation. The three organisations spent the last year travelling to ten UK cities to map new approaches to creating jobs and prosperity, particularly in marginalised communities, with funding from the Friends Provident Foundation.

In each city they held events with local leaders and produced an edition of New Start magazine, highlighting the local projects creating economic and social change, and understanding the barriers to a more resilient local economy.

The West Midlands was found to be the region with the most ‘good’ city economy projects, and the launch event brought together those projects and was addressed by deputy chief executive of Birmingham Council, Piali DasGupta.

The report sets out 10 steps to a good city economy, including ‘true’ devolution and a revolution in grassroots enterprise.

Neil McInroy, Chief Executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), said: ‘The destiny of cities is hitched to a particular economic growth model and often detached from social and environmental goals. This work and report showcases the alternatives.  Through an exploration of practical action and activity in 10 cities, it is evident that elements of a good local economy are already here. However, national and some local policy fails to adequately support and we need to quicken the pace. This work shows us the way.’

A copy of the report is available here. 

The individual city editions can be viewed on the New Start website.