Think Cities Campaign Launches across the UK

Think Cities – a bold new locally driven campaign, convened by the Centre for Cities, was formally launched in six major cities across the UK today.

Press release published on 16 July 2014

The campaign, which responds to the growing consensus and ambition across the political spectrum in favour of local devolution, gives cities the tools to advocate for greater funding and powers in the lead-up to the 2015 General Election.

It encourages the cities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Bristol, Newcastle, and Brighton – which together are home to over six million Britons[1] – to both individually and collectively argue for the funding and flexibility needed to deliver sustained local and national economic growth, and improve standards of living.

The national campaign platform was launched in January 2014, to encourage conversation and debate about the importance of the UK’s cities. Over the past six months, it has drawn together a large number of influential national politicians, city leaders, academics and policy-makers from across the country, adding their voice to the call for change.

For all major parties, the tide of public opinion calling for greater empowerment of cities is increasingly becoming too loud to ignore. Exclusive polling conducted by ComRes for the Centre for Cities found that:

  • Three-quarters (73 per cent) of people in marginal seats would support greater powers for local government in their area; and
  • Only a third (33 per cent) of people believe their local government currently has sufficient tools and powers to boost local economies.

With nearly two-thirds of key marginal seats in city-regions, it is clear that UK cities will be the urban battlegrounds of the 2015 General Election, and no political party can afford to disregard the momentum building for change.

Chief Executive of the Centre for Cities, Ms Alexandra Jones, said:
“Each of the cities participating in the campaign holds the potential to drive greater economic prosperity, at both a local and national level. Yet more must be done to empower and support them to overcome some of the distinctive local barriers currently limiting their growth – whether through improved skills, infrastructure or housing. Think Cities builds on the encouraging recent moves across the political divide to address the underperformance of many of the UK’s cities, and calls for all parties to move beyond ‘talking cities’, to commit to action to give cities greater powers as part of their election campaign manifestos.”

For more information on the Think Cities campaign, or to find out how to get involved, visit

For press enquiries, please contact:
Sophie Gaston, Press and External Affairs, Centre for Cities
Ph. 07472745678 |


[1] Source: Centre for Cities, Cities Factbook 2014. Population as defined within Primary Urban Areas (PUAs). For further information on PUA definitions, please visit

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