Minister champions northern growth at inaugral new cities summit

The New Cities Summit attracted over 650 delegates from 40 countries, and is hosted by Geneva-based non-profit organisation The New Cities Foundation. Greg Clark met leaders in urban policy and enterprise, and promoted England’s new approach to freeing leading cities from Whitehall control and allowing them to take control of their own destiny.

As part of the visit, the Minister discussed cities policy and investment with a number of leaders from across different sectors, including:

  • Wim Elfrink, Chief Globalisation Officer, Cisco
  • John Rice, CEO, GE Global Growth and Operations
  • Angel Gurria, Secretary General, OECD
  • Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta
  • M Christian Sautter, Deputy Mayor of Paris

Greg Clark said: “Our great cities in the North, Midlands and West of England are crucial to the economic recovery of Britain. I want to do everything I can to give cities the freedom they need to meet their potential in the global marketplace.

“The New Cities Summit is an excellent opportunity to promote our innovative approach to cities policy and champion our leading cities, which are driving growth and creating jobs.

“The Government has already agreed landmark City Deals with some of the country’s leading cities. In Paris, I have championed that approach and looked to identify new allies in the drive towards enterprise and innovation. I was especially pleased to be joined by Mayor Joe Anderson showing that the drive to back growth is a responsibility that transcends party lines.”

England’s largest cities are negotiating transformative new powers as the basis of a series of bespoke City Deals which give them the opportunity to take on powers where they can demonstrate that they can unlock growth.

The Government has been working with the eight core cities and their surrounding areas to agree a series of tailored City Deals – the first phase of the Liverpool City Deal was announced on 7 February and the Manchester City Deal on 20 March. Other City Deals are being finalised and will be announced during the weeks ahead.