The City Councils in Derby and Nottingham have come together to develop a Metropolitan strategy which is launched for consultation.
The new strategy sets out a bold joint vision that by ‘2030 Derby & Nottingham will have a global reputation as an exciting place to live, work and play.’
It heralds a new chapter in the relationship between the two cities, whose Leaders believe that by combining their weight they will have more muscle nationally and internationally, and create a strong city region which will contribute more to the economy of the East Midlands and the UK.
Strong cities drive strong economies. The combined Derby/Nottingham urban area is home to over one million people and is one of the top 30 population centres in Europe. This gives us a scale – nationally and internationally – that neither city can achieve on its own.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council said: “By working together, Nottingham and Derby will be able to ‘punch above our weight’ when it comes to establishing a national presence and international reputation – and this will help us make the most of opportunities such as HS2, the Midlands Engine, and foreign trade and investment. This will be good for our cities, good for our citizens, and good for the wider economy.
“In a world that now operates on a global scale, we need to reach out to our neighbours and explore the potential that collaboration can bring. To engage with these and other emerging markets we need a united, clear voice with our business community. Of course things are unsettled at the moment following the referendum but there will be economic opportunities and – as two cities, as Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, as the East Midlands and as the Midlands Engine – we need to be ready to grasp them so that all our residents, employees and visitors have a prosperous future.”
Cllr Ranjit Banwait, Leader of Derby City Council added: “As I have started to talk about closer working between the cities, I have been struck by the number of people who expressed initial surprise – which was then usually followed by a thoughtful nod and a comment of ‘actually that makes sense’.
We are not just closely tied through our proud industrial heritage, modern manufacturing base, transport links or even one great football manager – but through our citizens. Over 40,000 people regularly commute between Derby and Nottingham and many of the families I talk to in Derby have children living or studying Nottingham and the opposite is equally true.
We are doing this because we believe that by working more closely we can improve life for all our Metropolitan citizens and together we can have more impact on creating jobs, improving housing, responding to new technologies and securing investment. Modern, forward thinking cities will give more people more opportunities to reach their own personal goals and ambitions – to learn, earn, enjoy their leisure time and raise their families.”
Both Leaders describe the Metropolitan Strategy as ‘the start of a journey’ and expect it will change and grow over time. They are keen to ensure it is not just a paper document but a spirit and intent that might be embraced more widely. The consultation gives partners, residents and organisations the opportunity to give their views and thoughts on this.
A draft action plan has been published that sets out broad actions which, initially at least, are more about starting to build relationships and to identify, analyse and assess the potential opportunities. There are some areas however, where the Councils hope to make an immediate difference:
- Collaborating on our overseas promotion and campaigns – starting with a joint business delegation to China this autumn
- Developing a joint skills plans for the Derby & Nottingham area, including plans to maximise the opportunities of HS2
- Bidding together for funding to improve sustainable travel
- Developing a joint festival and events programme
- Exploring opportunities for joint working, pricing, offers and operation at leisure facilities across both cities
The Leaders are asking local people to give their views by visiting the Derby or Nottingham City Council websites and completing the simple online survey.
Have your say through a simple online survey which can be found on the Derby City Council or Nottingham City Council website via the links below.
The consultation is open and runs until 19 September 2016.
The draft Derby and Nottingham Metropolitan Strategy sets out a draft vision that has been jointly produced by Derby and Nottingham City Council centred on four themes:
- Enterprise: to promote Nottingham/Derby internationally to promote trade attract new investment; to support businesses to innovate, diversify and find new markets; to increase productivity and strengthen supply chains.
- Talent: to enhance leadership, knowledge and creativity of skilled workers (especially those required for key sectors); to support young people to be ready for work; to tackle barriers to employment and progression.
- Connectivity: to strengthen connections across the Midlands and beyond; to improve connectivity between the two cities; to develop sustainable transport options; to maximise the advantage of key assets (e.g. East Midlands Airport) and opportunities (e.g. HS2).
- Liveability: to develop a joint leisure and cultural offer for residents and visitors; to showcase how urban areas can apply information technologies to improve the efficiency of infrastructure; to develop green infrastructure to improve quality of life