Nick Clegg Says 'Core Cities' Will Get Powers To Boost Growth

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NICK CLEGG
England's major cities are being given new powers to help boost growth but will have to "shoulder some risks" in return, Nick Clegg will say. | AFP/Getty Images

England's major cities are being given new powers to help boost growth but will have to "shoulder some risks" in return, Nick Clegg will say.

The Deputy Prime Minister is to set out "radical" plans that will give eight "core cities" - Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham, Bristol and Birmingham - more freedoms.

They include giving each city a consolidated capital pot to spend "as they see fit" and allowing councils to take out bank loans on future developments - such as shopping centres or business parks that are expected to generate significant revenue - to pay for the investment work.

Councils will also be able to give business rate discounts to attract certain sectors to an area under the "city deal".

But the Government will no longer underwrite all major projects, Mr Clegg will warn.

"We are launching a series of deals to recast the relationship between central government and our cities in what we hope will be an unprecedented transfer of power to unleash city power, to boost entire regions, to get our national economy growing, and to begin correcting the dangerous imbalance in that economy, Mr Clegg will say in a speech at IPPR North.

"There will be no more going on bended knee to Whitehall department after Whitehall department to bid for different capital pots for individual schemes, each judged according to their own criteria.

"Instead cities will get one consolidated capital pot to direct as they see fit, whether that is on a new roundabout or a new retail park, whatever their area needs to boost economic activity."

"Of course, we will have a few demands of our own," he will add. "This is a deal after all.

"Our cities will need to shoulder some of the risks. Where big projects are involved, for example, we will not do all the underwriting."

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