Two additional cities have joined Key Cities, the national network representing the UK’s urban areas.
Key Cities works with 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 advocates for 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 capacity to influence national policy, share and scale new ideas, and drive economic and social growth.
Key Cities’ work will also play an important role in the UK’s economic resilience, particularly on issues relating to climate, skills, housing, community wealth, levelling up and devolution.
Cllr John Merry, Key Cities Chair and Deputy Mayor for Salford, said:
“Our collective voice is powerful in demonstrating the opportunities and challenges our cities face via the range, expertise and agility across the members. The decision for Colchester and Reading to join Key Cities is a testament to the value of our network in making a positive difference, and we very much look forward to working with them.”
Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester City Council, said:
“Colchester is delighted to be joining a great network, Key Cities. As Britain’s first Roman and now latest city, we have character, heritage and culture. As home to the world-class University of Essex and 16 Air Assault Brigade, we also embrace the best of the modern world, from defence to high tech, and the best of a multicultural world.”
“We welcome this opportunity to ensure our collective voice is heard and to create and exploit the opportunities that city status can bring to us and others, as great places to live, work and visit.”
Cllr Jason Brock, Reading Borough Council Leader, said:
“As a modern, thriving, diverse town, and a major economic player in the south-east, we are hugely proud of everything Reading has to offer. Joining Key Cities now offers Reading the opportunity to build on that considerable success by working alongside other local authority partners more closely.”
“Reading is a town of contrasts. Our powerful economy and areas of affluence, sit alongside some of the most deprived communities in the country, and tackling these stark inequalities is at the heart of everything we do as a Council. I hope that by coming together as a collective we can present a compelling case to central Government about the real need to level up our communities, and learn from each other as we strive to deliver our aspirations.”
Photographs credit: Colchester – CBC Roger Tamblyn; Reading panorama – JS Aerial