Hidden potential: fulfilling the economic potential of mid-sized cities

Before the recession many of England's mid-sized cities were performing well, but economic pressures have hit these cities harder than larger urban areas such as London and Manchester. Ensuring these cities remain resilient and sustainable will be important for the wider UK economy.

Hidden Potential: Fulfilling the economic potential of mid-sized cities, a report from Centre for Cities, PwC and Sunderland City Council, reveals that mid-sized cities have the potential to create more jobs if they can invest in reconfiguring their centres. The report calls on cities and the Government to work together to create a new investment fund focused on tackling the main barriers mid-sized cities face in their quest to grow.

Cities like Sunderland, Preston Derby and Wakefield are examples of mid-sized cities that could use the fund to improve their city centre offer for businesses, which would help them to create jobs. The other main recommendations in the report are:

  • for Government to follow their City Deal negotiations with England's Core Cities, with 'City Deals' for mid-sized cities to support their contribution to UK economic growth
  • for mid-sized cities to address gaps in the provision of city centre office space - by managing empty public sector office space, for example
  • for mid-sized cities to put to Government bespoke proposals around their transport and skills to support the renewal of their city centres.

In the following video, Centre for Cities' Director of Research, Andrew Carter talks to Ray Mills from PwC and Dave Smith, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council about the research findings.

View the transcript