As the political, financial and cultural centre of the United Kingdom, is London too dominant? This report explores how London’s relationship with the UK has changed and sets out new thinking on how the capital can better connect with its nation state.
Recent years have seen a growing gap – in economic performance and civic connection – between London and the rest of the country.This report finds that:
- London’s contribution to the UK economy is sizeable, and growing. But there is a perception that it receives more than its fair share of public spending, and that central government’s ‘London-centric’ decisions tend to favour the capital.
- London plays an important role as a powerful international hub for investment and tourism but its dominance of foreign direct investment projects can make it challenging for other regions, cities and towns to attract inward investment.
- While the majority of non-Londoners are proud of London as their capital, most don’t think that London’s economic strength helps their local economy. The capital has a reputation problem among Brits, who tend to view it as an inaccessible place to live, work and visit.
Reasons to be cheerful
The report finds a number of reasons to be cheerful. A growing number of politicians, businesses and cultural institutions and grassroots initiatives are working together to strengthen ties across the country. From knowledge sharing between London and Manchester’s transport bodies, to joint tourism initiatives and private sector collaboration, good progress is being made.
But the report urges city leaders to do more to ensure London fulfils its role as England and the UK’s capital.