Key Cities, a national network representing almost half of the UK’s urban areas has announced that four new local government areas are joining the organisation.
Bath and North East Somerset, Exeter, Lincoln and Wrexham have joined the network of 21 other members, which have a broad political and geographical spread across the UK.
Key Cities works with other cities, towns and organisations across local government and beyond to deliver prosperity, protect the environment and raise standards of living across the country.
The network champions the future of the UK’s urban centres by producing research, responding to consultations and engaging with politicians and policy makers.
The new members will further strengthen the network’s ability to influence national policy, share and scale new ideas, as well as drive economic and social growth.
Key Cities’ work will also play an important role in the UK’s post-Covid recovery, particularly on issues relating to ports, housing, culture, climate, levelling up and devolution.
Commenting, Key Cities Chair and Deputy Mayor for Salford, Councillor John Merry said:
“Our collective voice is more powerful in demonstrating the opportunities and challenges our cities face. The enthusiasm of these four cities to join Key Cities is testament to the value of our network in bringing about positive change and we very much look forward to working with them.”
City of Lincoln Council Leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe added: “Joining Key Cities will enable us to successfully collaborate with cities from across the country who have similar opportunities and challenges to ourselves in Lincoln.
“Group membership provides us all with a bigger and better voice and the ability to add value to what we do as local leaders.
“We all have high aspirations for our areas and proven track records in adding economic and social value to our cities. The opportunity to learn from each other is immense.
“As the country recovers from the current pandemic, being a member of Key Cities should provide invaluable support in ensuring we are the forefront of that recovery.”
Key Cities was formed in the summer 2013 by the councils of Coventry, Derby, Preston, Sunderland and Wakefield and now has 25 members across England and Wales.
The group’s aim is to share knowledge and develop solutions to problems that their members are facing, become a unified voice and an alliance of shared interests, as well as making the most of promoting their economic interests to central government.
Last year, the Key Cities manifesto was launched, which outlined the significant opportunities for cities and places across the UK to work together with the Government to drive their economic and social future as the UK exits the Covid-19 pandemic and realigns its relationship with Europe.