City Relationships: Economic linkages in Northern City Regions

Building on our City Links work, City Relationships examines the economic links between the five most significant economic centres in the North - Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Report published on 11 November 2009 by Centre for Cities

Can stronger relationships between economic centres and neighbouring cities and towns in the North of England generate higher levels of economic growth?

City Relationships looks at economic relationships between people and firms within the five largest City Regions in the North – Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

The research provides a strong evidence base for cities and towns allowing them to incorporate a better understanding of the different roles of different places within an economic area, and relationships between them, into their economic development strategies.

City Relationships was produced by the Work Foundation, Centre for Cities and SURF, and commissioned and sponsored by the Northern Way and the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Key findings

  • Economies of local areas are shaped by their economic relationships with other areas. Strengthening links to economic centres is important to deliver economic growth.
  • Some places have more complementary – or mutually beneficial – economic relationships than others. The extent to which relationships are complementary is affected by a range of factors – skills are the most important of them.
  • City regions should support the development of areas with most potential for growth, usually the economic centre, and also invest in building links between the economic centre and neighbouring areas.

We will be taking forward the implications of these findings in our policy and research programme, looking at how cities can develop stronger economies.

Five reports detailing our findings and conclusions for each of the City Regions in this study

Contact us

Policy and Research Manager