The Centre for Cities reading list on the Industrial Strategy

Essential reading from our back catalogue on the key issues in the Government’s industrial strategy

As many readers will be aware, the Government has entered into a 12 week consultation on its recent industrial strategy green paper. Over the coming weeks we’ll be publishing a number of briefings to inform the strategy – but as a starter for ten, we’ve pulled together a reading list from our back catalogue on each of the strategy’s ‘pillars’ which are relevant to our work.

Choose a pillar below for more details and links. 

Investing in science research & innovation

Place matters for innovation – research shows innovation is higher in dense urban environments such as successful city centres. This means that policy should increase the density of our city centres, encouraging innovative businesses from a range of sectors, to locate next to one another.

Developing skills

Skills-levels are one of the best predictors of economic performance, and high-value businesses invest where they can recruit the workforce needed to help their organisations grow. For those people with few or no formal qualifications, policy efforts need to focus on improving numeracy and literacy skills.

Upgrading infrastructure

Infrastructure has an important role to play in supporting economic growth. In recent years the emphasis has tended to be on ‘big ticket’ (and expensive) infrastructure projects linking places together, rather than getting transport within city regions working better. Our research suggests that a greater focus on the latter would have more success in supporting economic growth in cities across the country.

Supporting businesses to start and grow

Research has shown a small number of high growth firms to be the drivers of the majority of growth in the UK economy. Our work looks at the geography of this, and the range of policy initiatives that have been put in place to support both small cohorts of businesses and the business base more generally.

Encouraging trade & inward investment

Our work sets out how the success of cities in attracting foreign investment and the amount they export around the world varies, with implications for their productivity.

Driving growth across the whole country

Place has a big impact on the performance of the national economy. The following reports show why the inherent advantages and disadvantages of different places determine their success in supporting economic growth.

Cultivating world-leading sectors

Much thinking around industrial strategies tends to be rooted in terms of specific sectors. Our work shows that it is cities which have strong fundamentals (e.g. a skilled workforce) that have been better able to attract-in new, growing sectors as they have emerged. To facilitate growth of sectors in the future, it is better to take a broad approach to getting these fundamentals right rather than take too specific a focus on individual industries.

Creating the right local institutions

Different cities face different challenges and opportunities, and devolving power down to strong city-level institutions allows policy to be better tailored to address the issues that places face.

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