City Views: How do Britain’s Cities See London?

This report looks at how people and businesses in cities outside London feel about the capital, including its impact on their place and the future of the country as a whole.

London’s relationship with the rest of the nation — particularly its perceived dominance over other parts of the country — has long been a key feature of the UK economy, politics and cultural life. In recent years the apparent disparities between London and ‘the rest’ have increased.

Most Britons cannot see how investing in London’s Crossrail project, Tech City or another London airport is going to benefit them. And likewise, most Londoners and London businesses do not think about what the growth in other cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds means for the new opportunities available to them.

However, London’s invaluable role in driving national growth means that local and national leaders must do much more to understand and articulate the links between city economies.

London’s representatives need to help foster a greater appreciation of the benefits the capital has to the nation, and increase awareness of the potential dangers that holding back London’s success in preference to other parts of the country might have.

Key findings

  1. There is a strong sense of scepticism amongst respondents as to whether London benefits the economy where they live. While most agree that the London economy benefits the country as a whole, they do not believe that it is particularly good for their place.
  2. There is a clear feeling that our national politics and policymaking does not respond to local needs. A majority also believe that the location of Whitehall and Parliament within London leads to national decisions that are too focused on the needs of the capital, rather than other UK cities.
  3. Many believe that London dominates culturally and in terms of national media coverage, at the expense of other cities across the country.

This report sets out 12 key findings from the national and city surveys covering the economy, government and leadership, culture and media, quality of life and connections between London and other cities.