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Wednesday, March 22, 2006
City growth strategy announced
Ten new strategies have been launched to help bring major investment and jobs to cities. The City Growth strategy, which puts business and business leaders at the heart of urban revitalisation, aims to generate enterprise in some of the most disadvantaged areas and under-represented communities.

The DTI supported strategies are based on a model developed in the US by Harvard Professor Michael Porter and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), and is led by private sector champions working in collaboration with various local sector bodies. The ten areas where a City Growth strategy have been launched are: Derby, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Portsmouth, London South (Deptford/New Cross), Heart of South London, and London Western Arc (Park Royal/Wembley/White City).

Industry and Regions Minister Alun Michael said: "These ten new City Growth Strategies will help create the "can do" attitude needed to drive entrepreneurial activity in our cities and help ensure that that the UK continues to be one of the most enterprising countries in the world."

City Growth views disadvantaged communities as untapped sources of enterprise with big economic advantages, such as an available workforce, strategic locations and under-served retail markets. The strategies bring business, government and community leaders together around an evidence-based strategy that focuses on private, for-profit business growth.

So far City Growth Liverpool has led to the appointment of the leader of the Council, Warren Bradley, as a new "business champion" for the city, ensuring that business issues are prioritised within the Council and challenging the public sector agencies to adopt business friendly strategies; City Growth Luton is launching new action teams for priority sectors such as aerospace and ICT drawing in expertise from the University of Luton; and City Growth Manchester - has drawn up implementation plans for exploiting the potential of a developing "live music" scene, to contribute to regeneration, cultural diversity and inclusion strategies. (via GNN)

I have to say, this sounds like more 'action plans' and 'champions' without any real action so far - but let's see what happens over the next year. I don't know why, for instance, it takes this for Liverpool Council to ensure that business issues are prioritised.

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