Unleashing Metro Growth: Final recommendations (report) - RSA

Unleashing Metro Growth: Final recommendations


  • Community and place-based action

The final report considers evidence heard by the Commission in the form of written submissions and evidence hearings, and discussions hosted by the Commission at seminars, roundtables and other stakeholder engagement.

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The report draws on interim reports which have focused on skills, infrastructure, fiscal devolution and the role of universities in driving metro growth.

Key recommendations outline a significant shift – from the centre to metros – in policy and finance, enabling metro leaders to:

  • Coordinate resources across their city-region and make strategic policy and finance decisions via place-based budgeting and investment strategy.

  • Make more informed and responsive decisions based on evaluation of local data and evidence.

  • Develop effective ways of integrating public service reform and economic development.

  • Have greater flexibility over their spending and borrowing arrangements, including:

  • Multi-year finance settlements of between five and 10 years,

  • Retention of a proportion of the tax proceeds of growth; and

  • Freedom for the most devolved metros to set and fully retain a suite of taxes.

Furthermore, metros should be represented in national decision making, bringing forward measures to enhance connectivity and growth, including:

  • A comprehensive review on how our current and future needs for digital infrastructure can be met; and,

  • Accelerated connectivity between metros in the North, Midlands and other 'super city-regions'.

Other measures include lifting the cap on Tier 2 (non-EU) migration, devolution of adult skills budgets, and additional support for universities to help fuel their local economy. 

NB: Recipients of the first printed edition should note the reference on page 20 to the North East powerhouse uplift should read £4,212m, not £1,256m as stated. All figures in this table are in real terms.

Download the report here or watch the video of the launch event here.

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