❝  We know devolution is working and more powers and funding should be handed down from Westminster to local leaders who know their areas best.

Cities Outlook 2024 brings home the urgency of the need for growth in the UK, while making a compelling case for why devolution is the way forward in achieving that.

It is only by expanding devolution and the financial and policy making powers for our regions, that local leaders will be able to respond effectively to tackle the issues facing their areas, meaning better outcomes for everyone.  ❠

Mayor Tracy Brabin
Mayor of West Yorkshire



❝  Centre for Cities plays an important role in helping local leaders understand and address the challenges facing cities and towns. The data and insights in this year’s report show the economic disparity between the North and South is widening, not closing. Despite over a decade of focus on the Northern Powerhouse and Levelling Up, the Greater South East has a higher proportion of the UK’s jobs than it had in 2010. This is having a significant impact on the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.

We welcome the report’s call for further progress on devolution. Greater Manchester’s trailblazer deal is providing more local control over areas like skills, transport and housing, strengthening our ability to improve the lives of people who live and work here. But there is more to be done.

At the start of what promises to be a pivotal year, Cities Outlook 2024 clearly sets out what the next government – of any colour – needs to consider to renew the levelling up agenda and give cities and towns the tools we need to unlock the growth we know we are capable of.  ❠

Mayor Andy Burnham
Mayor of Greater Manchester



❝  Cities Outlook continues to be an indispensable tool for urban leaders, offering valuable insights that will help to unlock our cities’ potential right across the UK.

I rely hugely on reading about other cities and their performance to be able to make progress here in Bradford. Learning from others is vital. The comprehensive data and analysis set out in the report not only allows individual cities to assess their performance in relation to others but also enables them to identify and capitalise on their unique strengths. It should be a cornerstone for informed decision-making at all levels of government – and it’s particularly vital during an election year.  ❠

Cllr Susan Hinchliffe
Leader, City of Bradford Council



❝  Cities Outlook 2024 provides another vital overview of the contribution that cities of all sizes make to driving economic growth across the UK – providing tens of millions of people with jobs and homes.

And the potential further contribution of cities is immense: Core Cities UK and the RSA have found that increasing the productivity of UK cities to the levels of their European peers would add an extra £100 billion a year to our national economy.

As this report from Centre for Cities shows, UK plc has stagnated since 2010. My home city of Bristol is the only Core City ahead of the national average for productivity. We are one of very few places where gross disposable household income per head is up, however negligibly, since 2010, compared to what would have been if 1998-2010 growth rates had been sustained.

The solution is simple. Cities must be empowered to help unlock and unleash the full potential of our country. I have no doubt that this data from Centre for Cities will contribute significantly to the broader policy debate surrounding the future of the UK.  ❠

Mayor Marvin Rees
Mayor of Bristol



❝  Tackling the productivity challenge will be one of the big asks of the next government – and it’s an opportunity that we simply cannot afford to miss. For example, we know that if Liverpool’s productivity increased to the national average, it would generate an additional £4.5bn for our area.

If we are serious about getting our economy firing on all cylinders, then we need to see more action at a national level to break down regional imbalances. As Cities Outlook 2024 shows, devolution is already proving itself to be a catalyst for growth. The more powers we hand to local leaders, who understand the needs and priorities of their areas better than anyone else, the faster we can start to address the barriers that are holding our regions back from fulfilling their true potential. 

Mayor Steve Rotheram
Mayor of Liverpool City Region