A strong cultural offer can attract “bright young businesses” to underperforming towns and cities helping to maximise growth potential, according to a new report by the Commission for Underperforming Towns and Cities. ‘A brighter future for our towns and cities’ details a number of ways that local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and government can maximise growth. On a local level, defining a “sense of place” and attracting “the brightest and the best” people and businesses are seen as key, and a strong cultural offer is one way that towns and cities can do this. The report writers point to success stories such as Glasgow, Liverpool and Tyneside, where investment in culture has helped to attract private sector investment and enhance the reputation of a place.
The report, produced in partnership by The Association of Town and City Management, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Town Planning Institute, targets its recommendations at towns and cities with populations above 100,000 with high levels of unemployment. Specific recommendations include making economic development a statutory function for local authorities; forming strategic development plans for underperforming places; overhauling business rates in the interests of fairness and efficiency; and further empowering Local Enterprise Partnerships.]
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