Globalisation makes cities and city-regions more important as hubs of economic activity. But globalisation also means that some places, like London and Manchester, will be more important than others, Carlisle or Southend, in driving UK growth. Cities – and local leaders – need to consider policy interventions that help their economies adjust to global realities, and be more realistic about their economic role.
Overall, globalisation benefits the UK economy. But it produces winners and losers. Some cities will do better than others as a result of globalisation, while some individuals will be less well off. Government needs to be more honest about this, not just focusing on net benefits at the national level. Policy interventions should not – and cannot – aim to reverse globalisation trends, but instead should focus on supporting those who may lose out in the transition to a more competitive economy.
This report offers cities a new framework for responding to globalisation.