Core Cities is an association of eleven cities in the UK: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol,
Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield.
Altogether, Core Cities and their surrounding regions account for around one quarter
of the UK population and economy. Given their size and assets, Core Cities have the
potential to boost national growth. However, unlike second-tier cities in most other
large OECD countries, Core Cities have low levels of productivity by national and
international standards. With the right policies and sufficient investment in public
transport, housing, skills and other key policy areas, Core Cities could become centres
of economic activity that pull their regions and the entire UK to higher productivity
levels. This report unpacks the causes of low productivity in UK Core Cities and offers
policy recommendations for the local and national level to achieve higher productivity
and more inclusive growth.