Election manifesto recommendation: Empowering regions through devolution

To deliver on this, the next government should focus on:

Deeper devolution – ensuring greater consistency in the devolution of powers offered to different parts of the country including devolving more powers to metro mayors to create a better climate for business to thrive and invest to support regional growth.

Ensuring access to talent – introducing more flexibility into the Apprenticeship Levy system and improving access to global talent, enabling businesses to tap into essential skills and spur the innovation necessary to maintain the UK’s status as a world-class international financial centre.

of financial and related professional services jobs are based outside London

  • Move away from multiple funding pots and competitive bidding processes in favour of a single financial settlement for an area, using the recent deeper devolution deals for the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and North East as a starting point.
  • Implement TheCityUK’s plan to reform the Apprenticeship Levy to increase the number of apprenticeships, support more young people into the programme and broaden the skills that are taught to support business growth.

Employment and gross value added in financial and related professional services, 2021
Source: Office for National Statistics, Nomis and TheCityUK estimates
Note: Northern Ireland figures are employees

  • Continue to roll out the metro mayor and combined authority model to all English regions that want it, while simultaneously devolving greater powers for existing Mayoral Combined Authorities and striving for as much consistency as possible in the powers awarded under devolution deals.
  • Consider how metro mayors can take strategic responsibility for major infrastructure projects to overcome obstacles to delivery, such as delays in the planning system.
  • Strengthen the current English devolution settlement by creating a new Leadership Academy, bringing in the best expertise from leaders around the world, and from business to support political leaders and their staff in personal and policy development.
  • Support businesses to innovate and grow by enabling short-term business mobility and supporting local talent development by using the funds from the Immigration Skills Charge.
  • Deliver further devolution of education policy and funding to Mayoral Combined Authorities in future English devolution deals, with the long-term aspiration of local leaders taking a greater role in overseeing education at all phases so this can be better integrated with Local Skills Improvement Plans.

Read more about our key recommendations for the next government by clicking the links below:

Leading the transition to a sustainable future

Delivering a coherent, stable and predictable tax regime

Creating the conditions to drive investment across the UK

Boosting UK growth through investment and regulatory stability