Core Cities Group

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Core Cities Group
Logo of the Core Cities Group
Established 1995
Headquarters Manchester Town Hall
Chris Murray

The Core Cities Group (also Core Cities UK) is a self-selected and self-financed collaborative advocacy group of large regional cities in the United Kingdom outside Greater London. The group was formed in 1995 as a partnership of eight city councils: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

The Core Cities Group has wide ranging interests, encompassing transport and connectivity, innovation and business support, skills and employment, sustainable communities, culture and creative industries, climate change, finance and industry, and governance. During 2012, the first wave of city deals recognised the eight cities as "the largest and most economically important English cities outside of London".[1]

Since 2010 British cities outside England have started consultations for incorporation into the group. In August 2014, Glasgow joined the group as the first non-English city,[2] followed by Cardiff.[3]

A particular interest of the group is the High Speed 2 project to interlink the larger British cities faster. [4]


The group formed in 1995 and membership is made up of eight local authorities with city status; of which six are metropolitan borough councils and two are unitary authorities in the English local government system. The local authorities came together to promote their common interests of transport and connectivity, innovation and business support, skills and employment, sustainable communities, culture and creative industries, climate change, finance and industry, and governance. The eight city councils are also members of the pan-European Eurocities network, a group co-founded by Birmingham City Council.

With the exception of Bradford and Hull, the initial members of the group mirrored the first county boroughs, that is the 10 English cities "dealt with as separate counties" under the Local Government Act 1888.

Localism Act 2011[edit]

During the passage of the Localism Act 2011, the group promoted the 'Core Cities amendment' to allow for bespoke decentralisation to its members, which was successfully incorporated.[5] Several of the 'City Deals' subsequently agreed between the Cabinet Office/Department for Communities and Local Government in 2012 included enhanced powers and city regional working at their core, including new combined authorities, thanks to the provision.[6]

Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016[edit]

The introduction of directly-elected mayors to combined authorities in England and the devolution of housing, transport, planning and policing powers to them were provisions contained in the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016.[7]


City Country Local authority Leader
(political affiliation)
City population Urban area population Metro area population Website
Birmingham  England Birmingham City Council Ian Ward 1,137,100 2,440,986 3,737,000 Official website
Bristol  England Bristol City Council Marvin Rees 459,300 617,280 1,151,000
Cardiff  Wales Cardiff City Council Phillip Bale 362,800 447,287 1,315,000
Glasgow  Scotland Glasgow City Council Susan Aitken 621,000 1,209,143 1,788,000
Leeds  England Leeds City Council Judith Blake 784,800 1,901,934 2,638,127
Liverpool  England Liverpool City Council Joe Anderson OBE 491,500 864,122 2,241,000
Manchester  England Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese 545,500 2,553,379 2,794,000
Newcastle  England Newcastle City Council Nick Forbes 295,800 774,891 1,599,000
Nottingham  England Nottingham City Council Jon Collins 329,200 729,977 1,543,000
Sheffield  England Sheffield City Council Julie Dore 577,800 685,368 1,569,000

Source for metropolitan area populations: [8]


  1. ^ "Manchester City Deal brings 6,000 jobs boost – Announcements". 20 March 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Historic moment as Core Cities welcomes Glasgow into group". 14 August 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Cardiff Joins Core Cities Group". Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "UK's big cities support launch of HS2 consultation". Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Core Cities amendment to the Localism Bill clears the House of Commons". Core Cities Group website. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "City Deals and Growth Deals". Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Bringing our country together: cities, towns and counties to get stronger powers" (Press release). 29 May 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "British urban pattern: population data" (PDF). ESPON project 1.4.3 Study on Urban Functions. European Spatial Planning Observation Network. March 2007. p. 119. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 

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