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Leeds hosts UK2070 Commission to plan a fairer future UK economy


A report examining the impact of regional inequalities and ways that economic performance and life-chances in the UK are predicted to worsen unless drastic action is taken is the focus for an event in Leeds Civic Hall this Thursday (13th June 2019).

The UK2070 Commission is an independent inquiry, focussed on deep-rooted spatial inequalities in the United Kingdom. Their first report: Fairer and Stronger – Rebalancing the UK Economy will be at the heart of a National Symposium hosted by Leeds City Council.

The report highlights that while London and the South East of England face living costs and resources pressures, many people and businesses outside of these areas are likely to miss out on the benefits of growth.

Councillor Judith BlakeCouncillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Chair of the Core Cities Group said:

“As a city committed to building a strong economy underpinned by compassionate values, we understand it is vital to have a long-term perspective so the UK can be rebalanced for to be fairer for future generations.

“I’m proud Leeds is hosting this event, bringing together business leaders, policymakers, politicians, and civil society to inform enduring, positive changes for the economy of the UK. We want to see investment and powers shared fairly across the UK, with prosperity not remaining centred around the capital.”

Lord KerslakeLord Kerslake, UK2070 Commission Chair said:

“The UK2070 Commission provides a chance to look at large, growing economic disparities in this country with fresh eyes, offering a chance to both debate these inequalities and how best to tackle them as well as confront the impact of the increasing concentration of growth and wealth in London and the South East.

“The UK2070 Commission will use comments received in Leeds to both inform our work and to refine the First Report prior to publication of the Final Report.”

The report estimates more than half of new jobs in the next fifty years will go to London and the South East, although it makes up just over a third of the population.

To tackle regional inequality, the UK2070 Commission proposes:

  • Much greater devolution of powers and funding, including the creation of four new ‘super regional’ economic development agencies.
  • A spatial plan to guide the future development of the whole of the UK.
  • Action to harness new technologies and strengthen local economies.
  • Long-term investment through a new National Renewal Fund which would rebalance the economy over a 25-year period.

The event will also see a range of high profile speakers attending, debating the themes of the report and facilitating further comment from the floor. These include:

  • Former Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State, The Right Honourable The Lord Heseltine;
  • Chair of the Core Cities Group, Councillor Judith Blake CBE;
  • The Mayor of Greater Manchester, The Right Honourable Andy Burnham;
  • President and CEO of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Dr. George W. McCarthy;
  • Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority, Deborah Cadman OBE;
  • Chair of Urban and Regional Economics at the University of Sheffield Management School and Tagliaferri Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Professor Philip McCann;
  • Global Head of Infrastructure Equity & Director North West Region at AMP Capital, Boe Pahari;
  • Professor in Economic Geography at Cardiff University, Professor Gillian Bristow;
  • Executive Director of Strategic Planning at The Peel Group, Peter Nears.

The UK2070 Commission is an independent inquiry into city and regional inequalities in the United Kingdom. Chaired by Lord Kerslake, it has been set up to conduct a review of the policy and spatial issues related to the UK’s long-term city and regional development. The Commission will run in three phases, from July 2018 to January 2020.

More detail of the Symposium can be obtained from and the website