Policy paper

2010 to 2015 government policy: City Deals and Growth Deals

Updated 8 May 2015

This is a copy of a document that stated a policy of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. The previous URL of this page was https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/giving-more-power-back-to-cities-through-city-deals Current policies can be found at the GOV.UK policies list.


Cities and their surrounding areas are home to 74% of our population and 78% of our jobs, making them important to the long-term growth and economic success of England.

The country needs more business and employment opportunities to grow the economy. We believe that transferring powers from government to cities will make it easier for cities to achieve economic growth.


We are giving England’s cities new powers and freedoms through City Deals. City Deals are agreements between government and a city that give the city control to:

  • take charge and responsibility of decisions that affect their area
  • do what they think is best to help businesses grow
  • create economic growth
  • decide how public money should be spent

The first wave of City Deals are with the 8 largest cities outside of London, known as the Core Cities.

City Deals - Wave 2 involves 20 cities - the next 14 largest cities outside of London and their wider areas and the 6 cities with the highest population growth during 2001 to 2010.

With the help of the Cities Policy Unit these cities will negotiate deals with government – deals that give each city new powers in exchange for greater responsibility to stimulate and support economic growth in their area. Each city had to put forward a proposal by January 2013 that showed how they hope to do this.


The Cities Policy Unit was created in August 2011. It is made up of civil servants and staff seconded from local government, think tanks and the private sector. It works jointly with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Communities and Local Government and across Whitehall.

The goal of the Cities Policy Unit is to work with both cities and government to help cities create new ideas and turn the ideas into successful plans.

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, and Greg Clark MP launched City Deals on 8 December 2011, alongside the publication of the ‘Unlocking growth in cities’ white paper.

Bills and Legislation

The Localism Act 2011 introduced the Core Cities Amendment. This allows local councils to make the case for being given new powers to promote economic growth and set their own distinct policies.

Appendix 1: City Deals

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

The government’s approach to City Deals is led by a set of principles that will:

  • put cities in control of the economic opportunities and challenges they face as a city
  • work with a city’s wider metro area – encouraging deals across the wider economic area will increase the ‘scale of deal’, meaning City Deals will reach more people through a wider geographical reach
  • work across local enterprise and local authority boundaries, sectors, and professions – bringing together governments, cities, neighbouring authorities and local business leaders
  • give real power to city authorities so they can create economic growth

Appendix 2: City Deals – wave 1

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Wave 1 of City Deals has been agreed with the Core Cities – the 8 largest cities outside of London. They are:

  • Greater Birmingham
  • Bristol Region
  • Greater Manchester
  • Leeds City Region
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Nottingham City Region
  • Newcastle Region
  • Sheffield City Region

These cities have made deals with government that give them greater accountability for their actions, in exchange for new powers to help encourage growth and jobs in their areas. Details of these deals are included in the publication, ‘Unlocking growth in cities: city deals - wave 1’.

It is forecast that wave 1 will create 175,000 jobs and 37,000 new apprenticeships over the next 20 years.

Appendix 3: City Deals - wave 2

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

We invited 20 cities and their surrounding areas to compete for the opportunity to negotiate a City Deal. The deals would see government give powers to the city in exchange for the city taking on the responsibility of creating economic growth in its area.

In January 2013, each city submitted an initial proposal on how to improve a serious local economic problem.

To secure a deal with government, each city had to show in its proposals for growth that it:

  • can prove how it will take greater responsibility and leadership with decisions affecting its local economy
  • will use the advice, expertise, and resources of the private sector
  • is dedicated and ready to put resources into the deal
  • has plans on using public money wisely
  • can improve its area by following the government’s strategy of lowering regulation, boosting private sector growth, and making it easier for businesses to grow

The following City Deals have been agreed in Wave 2:

  • the Black Country
  • Greater Brighton
  • Greater Cambridge
  • Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Hull and the Humber
  • Great Ipswich
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Greater Norwich
  • Oxford and Oxfordshire
  • Plymouth and South West Peninsula
  • Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire
  • Southampton and Portsmouth
  • Southend-on-Sea
  • Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire
  • Sunderland
  • Swindon and Wiltshire
  • Tees Valley
  • Thames Valley Berkshire