Our ‘Impactful Investing’ event in Manchester, on the fringe of the Conservative party conference, acknowledged that private sector investment is key to the regeneration of urban centres up and down the country. However, to attract businesses and capital, the panel agreed that cities must have clear visions and long-term plans – infrastructure, connectivity and skills were cited as key ingredients to give investors the reassurance they need in a place, which in turn can facilitate growth.
A week later, we were in Liverpool to host ‘Cities and net zero – Levelling up, emissions down’. The session delved into the findings of our recent research, which revealed that our urban centres are driving positive climate action, despite a huge disconnect between local action and national policy. As well as a unanimous call for greater devolution of powers and funding, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Kerry McCarthy, made the case for putting people at the heart of the drive to net zero, from skills to jobs and the green economy.
Over a busy two weeks, it was great to be a part of stimulating and insightful discussions about the role our cities can play in driving economic and environmental good across the country. As we look ahead to a General Election next year, with manifestos undoubtedly already in progress, we look forward to continuing the conversation with both parties.