Closer working between Derby and Nottingham city councils and their neighbouring districts could generate an additional £11bn for the economy by 2030, a controversial new report has claimed.
The economic case for the Derby-Nottingham Metro was officially published by the city councils this morning after Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire CCs leaked it last week, claiming it had been developed in a “secret and underhand” way.
The report by Metro Dynamics says that the cities and the councils and businesses in their metro-area could close the gap with national GVA if they worked together to develop an industrial strategy and fully realise the benefits of the planned East Midlands Hub HS2 station that will be located in Broxtowe BC in Nottinghamshire.
However, it says the area can only be successful if “it works closely with the county councils that cover half of its population and its districts”. The county councils’ comments last week suggest this could prove difficult.
Nottingham leader Jon Collins (Lab) said: “This report underlines the major benefits closer collaboration across the metro area can bring.
“We will consider the report’s findings and recommendations in depth and discuss with neighbours and partners how we can take a combined approach, going beyond political and organisational interests and boundaries to make the most of the opportunities presented.”
In 2015, the two counties, two cities and seven districts in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire were at the forefront of the push for a devolution deal but negotiations stalled over the requirement to adopt an elected mayor.
Derby leader Ranjit Banwait (Lab) said Derby and Nottingham had been pursuing more joint working since launching the metro-strategy earlier this year, including introducing a scheme allowing residents to use gym and swim facilities in either city.
He added: “This report however really challenges us to take a more ambitious step and work purposefully across a larger metro area with a greater range of partners.”
Cllr Banwait stressed any action taken on the back of the report would need to be “collective”.
The report identifies three of Derbyshire’s five districts – Amber Valley BC, Erewash BC and South Derbyshire DC – and four of Nottinghamshire’s seven districts – Ashfield DC, Broxtowe BC, Gedling BC and Rushcliffe BC – as being in the Derby-Nottingham metro area, based on their economic characteristics.