As Leader of Nottingham City Council and Vice Chair of the Core Cities I regularly meet with business people and listen to their views on what they need from cities to help them grow their businesses and create jobs.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader Nottingham City Council; Core Cities Cabinet Vice Chair, Growth
Core Cities have a massive business base that could deliver so much more for UK plc. But our economies are being held back by the centralised way in which policy and funding is delivered in England. We need a better deal for Core Cities and our businesses. The recent Local Growth Deals were a step in the right direction but did not go far enough: cities need much more long-term, local control over funding and programmes to meet the different needs of our local economies.
Businesses want simple and straightforward access to services and support. That is why Core Cities have been calling for Business Growth and Innovation Hubs in each city, providing a ‘one stop shop’ for businesses to access advice, funding, innovation support and help accessing foreign markets. Additionally, Hubs will provide essential on going intelligence to help us shape our policies and programmes to respond to the changing needs of local businesses. This, combined with devolved budgets and local commissioning of skills and training provision, will make sure we equip local people with the right skills for the jobs that our business will create.
We are also calling for more influence over how UK Trade & Investment markets investment opportunities to make sure they can better represent the unique ‘offer’ of Core Cities outside of London.