Carlisle has been welcomed as a new member of an exclusive group of UK cities, unified in their approach to supporting economic development.
The Key Cities Group was established in 2013, with Wakefield, Coventry, Derby, Preston and Sunderland councils as founding members. Membership currently consists of more than 20 cities across England and Wales. These are: Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bradford, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Gloucester, Hull, Kirklees, Medway, Newport, Norwich, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Salford, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Sunderland, Tees Valley Mayoral Combined Authority, Wakefield, and Wolverhampton.
The Key Cities constitute 5.8 million people. Together, the Key Cities deliver a GVA of £110 billion to the UK economy.
Collectively, the Key Cities are of great importance to the potential of the UK economy, and present a significant opportunity for the UK’s growth and productivity.
Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr Colin Glover, said: “We’re delighted that our application to be part of the Key Cities Group has been successful. For several years, we have recognised the importance of the group and as our city grows, we were keen to be part of it. Carlisle has a lot to be proud of. We’re the beating heart of the Borderlands and ambitious plans are in place to grow the city, including St Cuthbert’s Garden Village and other economic regeneration proposals. We want to do everything we can to support local businesses and by being part of Key Cities, we will do everything we can to boost the local economy.”
The Key Cities have some of the fastest growing local economies in the UK and major strengths in both manufacturing and exports – one in twelve of all manufacturing jobs in the UK are located in the Key Cities. Out of the top ten places in the UK that export, five of these are Key Cities.
The Key Cities is supported by an All-Party Parliamentary Group in Westminster. They want to work with MPs across the political spectrum to help us raise the profile and voice of Key Cities within Whitehall and Parliament and make the case for greater investment in our cities.
The purpose of the Key Cities Group is to create a unified voice to ensure that member cities are more visible and consistently represented in policy-making at a regional, national and international level. This is in order to help create vibrant cities which can compete across Europe and the globe for business and growth. The Key Cities Group focuses on lobbying Government and increasing its dialogue and profile with relevant Ministers – based on a clear and consistent set of key asks and messages which are unique to the Group.
The Group works to: provide a united voice for mid-sized cities; make the case for greater investment in our cities, by raising the profile of the cities with Government, businesses and investors; share expertise and promote collaboration between cities, sectors and industries, to share knowledge, ideas, and best practice and to seize post-Brexit opportunities. Plus, develop and influence policy to strengthen resilience, and improve economic performance and social cohesion in our cities.
More information about Key Cities is available at www.keycities.co.uk