Publications from City-REDI

For a full list of all our research outputs, including academic articles and papers, please visit out Pure site

2024

A review of the economic and social value produced through funding PhD students

A review of the economic and social value produced through funding PhD students
April 2024

This report explores the extensive impacts of PhD study, from enhancing university operations to spillover benefits for society, industry, and personal development. It emphasises the civic role of universities, particularly in relation to place-based strategies and industry relationships. With over £3bn funded into PhD study in 2022/23 by UK Research and Innovation, the report highlights the significant returns for individuals, the Exchequer, and university-industry collaborations. It shares findings from a rapid evidence review on the economic and social impacts of PhDs, advocating for the importance of PhD study within a wider civic mission.

Authors: Johannes Read, Alice Pugh, George Bramley and Rebecca Riley

Find out more about City-REDI's work with the National Civic Impact Accelerator

Improving economic statistics in the creative industries: Towards multi-regional creative industries satellite accounts

Improving economic statistics in the creative industries: Towards multi-regional creative industries satellite accounts
April 2024

A report for the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre which proposing a comprehensive approach to capturing the true value of creative industries at a regional level. 

Authors:
Dr Matt Lyons, City-REDI and Kevin Connolly, University of Strathclyde. 

Find out more about City-REDI's work with the Creative Policy and Evidence Centre and our Socio-Economic Impact Model for the UK

From Vision to Legacy: The Power of Partnership

From Vision to Legacy: The Power of Partnership 

A report assessing the legacy of the now defunct Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. 

Authors: 

Anne Green

Published: 

March 2024

Investing in regional equality – four English examples

Investing in regional equality – four English examples

A report looking at the nine key lessons learned from international cities who have innovated to successfully overcome significant social and economic inequalities in recent years and whether they can be applied to four English cities. 

Authors: 

Abigail Taylor, Hannes Read, Anne Green and Jeffrey Matsu (CIPFA). 

Published: 

February 2024

West Midlands Economic Impact Monitor

West Midlands Economic Impact Monitor 

The monitor produced on a monthly basis and highlights economic developments in the West Midlands and the UK. 

Authors: 

Rebecca Riley, Anne Green and Alice Pugh

Published: 

Since 2020. 

The Monitor began life as the West Midlands Economic Monitor with a focus on the West Midlands. 

2023

Birmingham Economic Review 2023

The annual Birmingham Economic Review is produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and a high-quality resource for informing research, policy and investment decisions.

View and download the Birmingham Economic Review 2023.

Authors: 

Edited by Alice Pugh and Emily Stubbs (Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce)

Published:

October 2023

2022

Midlands Engine Observatory Academic Insights

2021

Future Business District

The Future Business District

A set of reports for the Colmore Business District looking at the long-term impact of Covid-19 on city centres and asking what city centres can do to remain successful places.  

Authors: 

Anne Green, Rebecca Riley, Alex Smith, Ben Brittain, Hannes Read

Published: 

October 2021

The Future Business District - Summary

Authors:

 Anne Green, Rebecca Riley, Alex Smith, Ben Brittain, Hannes Read

Published: 

October 2021

Find out more about the project. 

Local Space Cluster Development Support Programme

The West Midlands Space Cluster Development: Business Case
The West Midlands Space Cluster Development Programme: University Asset Mapping
The West Midlands Space Sector Strengths, Underpinning Assets, and Market Opportunities
The West Midlands Space Cluster Development Programme: Regional LEP and Policy Overview 

Birmingham Economic Review 2021

The Birmingham Economic Review 2021 was produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, with contributions from the West Midlands Growth Company. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and is a high quality resource for organisations seeking to understand the city to inform research, policy or investment decisions.

View and download the report.

What does it take to “level up” places? Evidence from international experience

2020

Commercialisation: Bridging the University-Industry Gap

Policy Briefing: Commercialisation: Bridging the University-Industry Gap
October 2019

Authors: Chloe Billing, Simon Collinson, George Bramley, Elio Di Muccio, Benhildah Rumbwere Dube, Maximilian Margreiter

Find out more about this project - Commercialisation: Bridging the University-Industry Gap

Improving Understanding and Measurement of Productivity

Improving Understanding and Measurement of Productivity
October 2020

Authors: Dr Fengjie Pan, Professor Simon Collinson, Professor Anne Green, Dr Magda Cepeda Zorrilla

Productivity is considered to have a direct impact on individual business success and therefore is a critical determinant of economic growth. However, understanding what productivity means varies across economic sectors and these sectoral differences in understanding productivity are also linked to differences in prioritising what is measured, and in turn, differences in actions taken to improve the firm performance. In order to improve productivity levels, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what productivity means and how can we measure it. We are seeking to address this is the gap in knowledge in our study by exploring the measurement of productivity from the managers’ perspective and also the measures used and the actions taken to improve it.

In this policy brief, we are reporting the findings of our study which collected data from 300 managers’ firms in the West Midlands region, across the Business Professional and Financial Services (BPFS); Advanced Manufacturing (AM); Retail (R); and Hospitality (H) sectors. This brief provides a list of policy implications of the variation in understanding productivity and concludes with a series of recommendations for policymakers.

Find out more about our work on Productivity -  Productivity and Prosperity: Inclusive Growth for the West Midlands

City-REDI - WMREDI 2020 Review

City-REDI - WMREDI 2020 Review
September 2020
Authors: Contributions from the whole City-REDI team.

This report provides an overview of City-REDI and WMREDI's work up to 2020.

Understanding the policy-making processes behind local growth strategies in England

Understanding the Policy-Making Processes Behind Local Growth Strategies in England
July 2020
Authors: Anna Romaniuk, Catherine Osborne, Emily Rainsford and Abigail Taylor

Find out more about this project. 

Rising to the UK's Skills Challenges

Rising to the UK’s Skills Challenges
June 2020
Authors: Dr Abigail Taylor, Professor Anne Green and Hayley Lyons

Rising to the UK's Skill Challenges Conclusion Summary
June 2020
Authors: Professor Anne Green and Dr Abigail Taylor

Find out more about this project - Industrial Strategy Council Skills and Places Secondment. 

A response to the APPG on Housing and Social Mobility’s Call for Evidence is based on the findings of the Democratic Foundations of the Just City project

Skills System International Case Studies

Workplace Perspectives on Skills

Workplace Perspectives on Skills

April 2020
Authors: Professor Anne Green and Dr Abigail Taylor

Find out more about this project. 

Regional Productivity Differences, Skills and Inclusive Growth: Survey Findings

Regional Productivity Differences, Skills and Inclusive Growth: Survey Findings
February 2020

Authors: Chloe Billing, Magda Rosario Cepeda Zorrilla, Simon Collinson, Anne Green, Fengjie Pan

This report outlines key findings from a survey of 300 firms in the West Midlands region, across the business professional and financial services; advanced manufacturing; retail; and hospitality sectors. 

The central aim of the overall project is to identify local factors that underlie and explain regional differences in productivity, with a particular focus on mismatches between the supply of and demand for specific skills. Additionally, it considers key trade-offs between productivity improvement and inclusive growth goals. 

Find out more about this project - Productivity and Prosperity: Inclusive Growth for the West Midlands.

Governance and Urban Development in Birmingham

2019

West Midlands Databook 2019-20

In 2019, City-REDI compiled a snapshot of key data for the West Midlands. Drawing on the success of the 2018 databook, the 2019-2020 edition provides up-to-date labour market profiles for the West Midlands Region, West Midlands Combined Authority, three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and over 30 Local Authorities. Together, the booklet provides easy to access data on the region’s productivity, population, employment, skills, and housing.

Download a copy of the West Midland Databook 2019-20.

Birmingham Economic Review 2019

The Birmingham Economic Review 2019 was produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, with contributions from the West Midlands Growth Company. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and is a high quality resource for organisations seeking to understand the city to inform research, policy or investment decisions.

Download the Birmingham Economic Review 2019

Download a summary of the Birmingham Economic Review 2019

Commercialisation: Bridging the University-Industry Gap

Policy Briefing: Commercialisation: Bridging the University-Industry Gap
October 2019

Authors: Chloe Billing, Simon Collinson, George Bramley, Elio Di Muccio, Benhildah Rumbwere Dube and Maximilian Margreiter.

Find out more about this project

Brexit Employment Risks by Occupation

Policy Briefing: Brexit Employment Risks by Occupation
May 2019

Authors: Pieter IJtsma, Bart Los

This policy briefing is part of the research project - Economic Impacts of Brexit on the UK, its Regions, its Cities and its Sectors. This project ran from 2017 to 2019 and was led by Professor Raquel Ortega-Argiles. 

The Realities, Challenges and Strengths of the External Funding Environment at LEP level.

2018

West Midlands Datanbook 2018-19

This report provides a snapshot of key data for the West Midlands including labour market profiles for the West Midlands Region, West Midlands Combined Authority, three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and over 30 Local Authorities. The booklet provides easy to access data on the region’s productivity, population, employment, skills, and housing.

Download a copy of the West Midland Databook 2018-19.

Birmingham Economic Review 2018

The Birmingham Economic Review 2018 was produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, with contributions from the West Midlands Growth Company. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and is a high quality resource for organisations seeking to understand the city to inform research, policy or investment decisions.

Download the Birmingham Economic Review 2018

Download a summary of the Birmingham Economic Review 2018

What does poverty really look like in the UK?  

Policy Briefing: What does poverty really look like in the UK? 
March 2018

Author: Deniz Sevinc

In 2012, the UK had a higher poverty rate than most EU member states. While poverty rates have declined since then, this progress is now at risk since policy changes under the 2017 Autumn Budget. UK Poverty 2017 underlines that “overall 14 million people live in poverty in the UK – over one in five of the population. This is made up of eight million working-age adults, four million children and 1.9 million pensioners”. Despite the government’s efforts to secure a more socially inclusive society with lower levels of multiple deprivation, the UK’s mixed record in tackling poverty should not come as a surprise. The integrated nature of well-being produces difficulties in evaluating poverty levels. One issue is the neglect of human life aspects whilst over-emphasising the importance of income.

Thus, determining who the most deprived social groups are and in which life domains they are experiencing deprivation is crucial for generating more effective, holistic poverty reduction initiatives combined with social protection intervention prioritization. It is this challenge that is explored in this policy briefing, attempting to shift the focus of societal development from an income-oriented to a people-centric approach by making the case for an anti-poverty UK agenda that gradually works towards an appreciation of the multidimensionality of well-being. 

Fiscal devolution An era of opportunity

Fiscal devolution An era of opportunity
January 2018

Author: Tasos Kitsos 

City-REDI has prepared this brief to inform the debate on fiscal devolution. The UK has traditionally been a fiscally centralised system with most of the local authority income coming from government transfers. The acknowledgment of the importance of place and local leadership in policies such as the industrial strategy, devo deals and the budget, together with the challenges of delivering Brexit provide an opportunity for local government to argue for more fiscal powers to generate local inclusive growth.

The briefing paper suggests that:

  • Local government should investigate the opportunities for greater financial freedoms as well as the threats, risks, and impacts.
  • Devolution should be a step by step approach in which local authorities prove they can be prudent and more efficient local decision makers.
  • National government should support the process by diversifying the range of options/tools and pooling the risk for reasonable experimentation.

2017

Economic resilience - addressing the challenges to come

Policy breifing: Economic resilience - addressing the challenges to come
October 2017

Authors: Tasos Kitsos

Economic crises have happened long before the great recession of 2008 and unfortunately will happen again in the future. Maybe not as bad as the 2008 one but they will happen. We can spend years discussing why recessions happen and we can use plenty of insights in psychology, economics as well as ideological arguments.

This policy briefing is not about this. It is about preparing to face the negative consequences of a downturn, commonly known as resilience. With what we know, the policy recommendations for increasing local economic resilience are to:

Recognise and promote the role of anchor institutions such as universities for increasing skills locally.
- Identify the importance of amenities for attracting talent in different areas.
- Motivate university-industry collaborations and cross-industry innovation
- Create a place-based industrial strategy that will use local assets and pursue resilience enhancing growth.
- Fund further research on resilience and promote the creation of local plans that explicitly address resilience.
- Provide leadership guidance and foster effective institutions to cope with external shocks.

Find out more about this project - Developing a Strategy for Economic Resilience in the West Midlands Combined Authority: The Role of Skills and Industrial Structure. 

West Midlands Databook 2017-18

This report provides a snapshot of key data for the West Midlands including labour market profiles for the West Midlands Region, West Midlands Combined Authority, three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and over 30 Local Authorities. The booklet provides easy to access data on the region’s productivity, population, employment, skills, and housing.

Download a copy of the West Midland Databook 2017-18.

Birmingham Economic Review 2017

The Birmingham Economic Review 2017 was produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, with contributions from the West Midlands Growth Company. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and is a high quality resource for organisations seeking to understand the city to inform research, policy or investment decisions.

Download the Birmingham Economic Review 2017 

Download a summary of the Birmingham Economic Review 2017

Smart Cities

Smart Cities
September 2017

Author: Simon Collinson and Amir Qamar 

This policy briefing looks at smart cities. Given that by 2050 approximately two thirds of the world’s total population will be living in cities, we have to make cities creative, innovative and sustainable places to do business. This emphasises the importance of ‘smart cities’, and we recommend the following:

  • Developing the right kinds of skills and expertise is central to unlocking opportunities for growth in most city-regions, but particularly Birmingham’s.
  • This refers mainly to the skills and talent to drive up productivity and innovation in firms and regional organisations. But analytical skills and expertise that can help us improve how we monitor and shape the growth of the region are also critical. Resources and incentives to upskill the Birmingham city-region in both ways are needed. This includes steps to improve the retention of skills within the region.
  • Investment is required to make large volumes of data reliable, useful and accessible. Investment is also required for real-time data to be distributed and processed in smart ways, to optimise decision-making.
  • Being smart and connected inevitably means that organisations, as well as individuals, are more susceptible to cyber security attacks, so we must invest more into software and systems that make us more resilient to such attacks.
  • Policymakers and the governance infrastructures they rely on must view each of the components of a smart city as a single, interrelated system, as opposed to dividing it into component parts (housing, transport, skills etc.) and focusing on each separately.

Fuelling City-Regions, why skills matter

Fuelling City-Regions, why skills matter
July 2017

Authors: Professor Simon Collinson, Professor Anne Green and Rebecca Riley

Issues relating to skills are at the forefront of topical debates about economic prosperity, productivity and inclusive growth. While policy makers at national and sub-national levels have long been concerned with skills levels, skills shortage and skills gaps, devolution and the development of an Industrial Strategy recognising the importance of place have provided even greater impetus to debates about skills at city-region level.

This City-REDI policy briefing sets out why skills matter, with a particular focus on the situation in the city-region covered by the West Midlands Combined Authority. Subsequent policy briefings will focus on other issues relating to skills, including skills mismatches and deficiencies, and skills implications of sectoral approaches to inclusive growth.

City-regions need great universities as strong and committed ‘anchor institutions’

Policy briefing: City-regions need great universities as strong and committed ‘anchor institutions'
June 2017

Authors: Charlotte Hoole and Simon Collinson

Following a discussion of the policy context and the role of universities as ‘anchor institutions’ within their host region, the briefing puts forward a number of policy recommendations;

  • Promote further the role of universities as a source of regional skills and expertise, and encouraging links between teaching programmes and local organisations.
  • Provide funding incentives for research collaborations with other regional universities and corporate partners in areas aligned with regional economic growth plans. This can assist in the development of regional specialisations as well as more competitive, high-wage local economies.
  • Provide funding incentives for combining STEM capabilities with business and management expertise to help translate science and technology into new products and services.
  • Review local procurement guidelines in view of increasing the capacity of universities to support small, local firms and use their buying power to support local disadvantaged socio-economic groups.
  • Reward research that has policy impact and that can be applied to the local setting.
  • Incentivise contributions to local arts and creative sectors which play an important role in retaining graduates and attracting inward investment.

2016

Birmingham Economic Review 2016

The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce partnered with City-REDI and the Marketing Birmingham Regional Observatory to produce a report examining the economy of Birmingham. 

Download the Birmingham Economic Review 2016

Projects