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Second Quarterly Report Highlights Latest UK Cities Investment Trends From Public Realm To Digital Infrastructure

The second issue of the ‘City Innovation Brief’ analyses the latest trends taking place in cities across the UK and at local and national government.

Published by Future Cities Catapult, the Government-backed centre of expertise in urban innovation, the ‘City Innovation Brief’ summarises key developments and changes from cities across the UK, identifying where money is being invested and what future opportunities might look like within the advanced urban services sector.

With insights gathered across political, economic, environmental and social domains, as well as information on key appointments and a deep dive into innovation in environmental services and the public realm, this new issue of ‘City Innovation Brief’ is a go to guide for busy city managers, government leaders and opinion-formers across the cities sector looking to keep pace and know what others are doing, as well as a window into customer demand for businesses in the advanced urban services sector.

Highlights from this report covering the second quarter (Oct – Dec 2017) include:

  • £400 million of extra funding will back transport improvements across the Northern Powerhouse, and the formation of Transport for the North.
  • Publication of the Industrial Strategy and the £725m Industrial Challenge Fund.
  • The first ever meeting of Britain’s seven city-wide and regional mayors.
  • The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, which includes increasing the amount of tree planting and urban green space, and policies to reduce plastic waste and pollution.
  • Milton Keynes will be the first Gigabit City under the new Vodafone and CityFibre Fibre-to-the-Premises programme.
  • Bristol was named the highest-ranking UK smart city according to the Huawei/Navigant UK Smart Cities Index, followed by London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.
  • The Care Quality Commission announced that social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3bn, while Which? reported that 10 councils could face shortfalls of 42,000 care home places by 2022. The potential of technology and innovation to reduce this burden has been highlighted by initiatives such as Centrica’s Active Ageing Challenge.
  • The collapse of Carillion, which is expected to have widespread ramifications across the advanced urban services sector.
  • £840m of public sector contracts advertised this quarter related to advanced urban services, with 35% of tenders attributed to the digitalisation of services and 41% to intelligent systems
  • £800m of funding is announced this quarter to support investments in broadband and 5G networks, sustainable urban development, local energy generation, circular economy and innovation in mobility, business and public services.

Nicola Yates, Chief Executive Office at Future Cities Catapult said:

“As the Government’s Industrial Strategy white paper rightly acknowledges, ‘place’ is a foundation of economic productivity. Places with the right characteristics, assets and resources allow innovation to proliferate and businesses to grow, yielding prosperous communities.

“Circumstances are challenging for city administrations in the UK, with significant pressures on public spending and rising demand for certain services. But today, as in the past, the answer to solving the complex and expensive challenges facing our cities and urban areas lies in embracing innovation. Just as gaslights tackled Victorian public safety issues and high-tension elevator cables unlocked new heights in which people could live and work, so too today’s urban innovations promise not only to improve the lives of citizens and deliver efficiencies in public administration, but also to create new opportunities for business to exploit and more productive places where everyone can prosper.”


The second issue of Future Cities Catapult’s City Innovation Brief is available here: http://futurecities.catapult.org.uk/resource/city-innovation-brief-q3/

For further information please contact Rob Whitehead, Director of Communications and Knowledge/ 07718 584378

About Future Cities Catapult                                                                      

Future Cities Catapult exists to advance innovation, to grow UK companies, to make cities better. We bring together businesses, universities and city leaders so that they can work with each other to solve the problems that cities face, now and in the future. This means that we catalyse and apply innovations to grow UK business and promote UK exports.

From our Urban Innovation Centre in London, we provide world-class facilities and expertise to support the development of new products and services, as well as opportunities to collaborate with others, test ideas and develop business models.

We help innovators turn ingenious ideas into working prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. Then, once they’re proven, we help spread them to cities across the world to improve quality of life, strengthen economies and protect the environment.

Follow us on Twitter @futurecitiescat or sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with our news.

About Catapult centres

The Catapult centres are a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth. The Catapults network has been established by Innovate UK. For more information visit catapult.org

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