This pamphlet has been written ostensibly to inform political discussions in the UK in advance of and immediately following the UK elections in May 2015. It expresses the views of its authors and does not purport to represent the views of the Association or its members.

The RSA Board considers that it raises issues that have a resonance beyond the UK. Indeed, these questions were addressed at the 2014 RSA Winter Conference chaired by Martin Jones with speakers including the authors – Ron Martin, Andy Pike, Pete Tyler and Ben Gardiner along with Gillian Bristow, Andrew Carter, Frank Eckardt, Nancey Greenleigh, Richard Kenny, David Marlow, Henry Overman, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and Jacqui Ward. The lively and long lasting debates at this two day event contributed to the revised version of the pamphlet which was first circulated to members for comment in December 2014.

The authors address the central question of how to spatially rebalance the UK economy which now has greater regional disparities in economic performance than in any other European country. With it the RSA, as the leading forum for city and regional research and policy, wishes to stimulate and engage in the current debates with the aim to inform political discussion.