Cities can work more together, say leaders

GLASGOW should collaborate more with English cities but improved transport links are needed, say city and business leaders.

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Glasgow and Liverpool should work together, say leaders
Glasgow and Liverpool should work together, say leaders

Following a speech by Alex Salmond in Liverpool this week greater collaboration between cities has been suggested.

Both cities have followed a similar path from 20th century industrial powerhouses to a service-led economy with large retail developments and conference venues attracting visitors in business and leisure tourism.

Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council said: "Glasgow and Liverpool are kith and kin.

"We enjoy a shared history and as we look to the future it is vital that we work together to create opportunities for the people of our great cities.

"Liverpool was one of the first English cities to be awarded a City Deal and we will work with them and learn from their experiences as we deliver our recently announ-ced £1.13billion City Deal."

Business leaders said there has been a focus more on connecting to London than other cities which are closer.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "We tend to see these cities as competitors rather than potential partners. Part of that is we focus on how to get to London quicker."

A similar mind set exists in Liverpool according to a former Liverpool Chamber of Commerce chief executive.

Jack Stopforth, director of BIG Partnership in Liverpool, who is also a former board member of the City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds used to think about prosperity depending on proximity to London, now they are thinking maybe it depends of proximity to each other."

First Minister Alex Salmond told an audience in Liverpool talks were ongoing about a direct train link from Scotland to Liverpool.

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