Making a difference in Plymouth, Newcastle Under Lyme, Bradford

This next couple of blog posts are some very early musings on the current relationship between towns and cities and highlights some learning and thinking I’ve been doing about this. As an adult I’ve always lived in big cities (Sheffield, Leeds and now Manchester – sometimes considered the Core Cities ). But increasingly I’ve become interested in and aware of, issues arising out of the relationship between the UK’s big cities and its smaller cities and towns.

Economic development in the UK has focused on, gathering resources around these largest 11 cities (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham,  Sheffield), drawing in highly skilled workers to these places and concentrating energy, ideas and expenditure on for example infrastructure in these places*. This has been backed up by the idea that the prosperity of these cities will trickle down to elsewhere… however, it’s clear that within these 11 cities, that prosperity hasn’t even been trickling down within those cities, let alone beyond to neighbouring smaller cities or towns. There will be more on this in my next posts.

My attention has recently been drawn to a number of community-led, social and economic activities taking place in three smaller cities and towns: Plymouth, Newcastle Under Lyme and Bradford. The following posts will outline some of the people and projects I’ve come across.

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Image credit: Sarah Spanton, of Cultural Squatters Cafe, York Place, Newcastle Under Lyme

*https://citiesmcr.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/size-matters-london-the-subsidy-junky/ – accessed 17.12.14

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About waymarkingthesketchbook

Sarah Spanton is director of arts organisation Waymarking - www.waymarking.org.uk
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