University of Birmingham signs up to CoreCities to share bold new economic recovery proposals with government

The University of Birmingham has become one of 21 universities along with 11 Core UK Cities including Birmingham outside of London calling for a radical new vision to work together to help the UK prosper post-Covid.

In a joint declaration cities and universities set out how they can boost and broaden research and development spend, create high skilled jobs and help to level up the UK’s nations and regions.

The 11 cities, which include Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Belfast, already deliver 26 per cent of the UK economy and play host to 40 per cent of all UK university students.

In a joint declaration to government ministers, the City Leaders and university Vice-Chancellors set out proposals for establishing new City Innovation Partnerships (CIPs) to develop targeted local R&D investment programmes.

They also call for greater local flexibility in the delivery of skills, employment and job creation programmes, the introduction of a Cities Trade Package, and a new UK Urban Trade and Investment Strategy to reposition the UK internationally.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of Core Cities UK and Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This is a very challenging time for both universities and our cities, but we must start to plan for a better future.

“Our core cities and their universities each have distinct industrial and research strengths. They also have enormous potential to generate innovation-led economic growth to benefit the towns and communities in their wider regions. But we need government to work with us to realise that potential.

“In what I hope will be the start of a productive dialogue with government, this joint-statement sets out how they can collaborate with local on-the-ground expertise to drive national post-COVID recovery, rebalance R&D investment, and level up the economy.

“As the UK continues to explore new global markets and opportunities post-Brexit, we also want to take advantage of our cities’ and institutions’ growing reputation as major hubs for innovation and research excellence.

“We invite ministers to consider our proposals carefully and meet with us to discuss a way forward.’

Professor Tim Jones , Provost and Vice-Principal of the University of Birmingham said: “The University of Birmingham is already playing an integral role in helping to shape a robust post-COVID economy through our civic engagement with key regional stakeholders in the West Midlands. As a signatory to the Core Cities UK Universities Declaration, we are joining with other major civic universities to work with government and local partners on the challenges and opportunities of economic renewal and future inclusive growth.’

There are examples of powerfully engaged civic universities in action across all the Core Cities, with many having signed or pledging to sign Civic University Agreements. This new joint-declaration is designed to complement and strengthen those relationships.

The declaration, published today on the Core Cities UK website, adds that government will only achieve its ambitions of level up the country if it looks to address low productivity, high deprivation and sustainability in the face of climate change in partnership with our core cities and universities.

The declaration, published today on the Core Cities UK website, adds that government will only achieve its ambitions of level up the country if it looks to address low productivity, high deprivation and sustainability in the face of climate change in partnership with our core cities and universities.


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