City leaders from across the East Midlands region are set to benefit from support to help them develop long-term strategies bringing together transport improvements, delivering new homes and creating job opportunities, under a new partnership programme launched today by the National Infrastructure Commission.

Chairman Sir John Armitt said the support on offer means cities from Nottingham to Mansfield are set to benefit, and have the chance to share knowledge and expertise.

Derby is among five cities and city regions selected to work with the Commission, to benefit from expert advice as leaders develop strategies to improve local transport connections, unlock job opportunities and deliver much-needed new homes.

Derby will also become a case study to demonstrate what cities across the country can do in this area, and of the difference that the long-term funding certainty recommended in the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment can make.

In addition, all 45 of England’s largest cities will also have the chance to share information and expertise through a series of events that will take place across the country in the New Year, hosted by the National Infrastructure Commission. As well as Derby, this will involve:

  • Leicester
  • Mansfield
  • Northampton
  • Nottingham

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said:

“We want cities across the East Midlands – and the country as a whole – to thrive and prosper. But their efforts will be stymied by poor public transport and traffic congestion.  Our partnership programme will help Derby and four other chosen cities as they design plans to improve local transport – which in turn will demonstrate the real benefits that devolving funding for the long term will bring.  And I’m delighted that Leicester, Mansfield, Northampton and Nottingham are set to benefit from this new programme, including a series of events to share knowledge and expertise.”

Commissioner Bridget Rosewell OBE said:

“Local leaders know the needs of their communities better than anyone. That’s why I’m pleased that cities across the East Midlands will be working with us next year, to share their knowledge and experiences.  We hope this exciting work will provide cities from Leicester to Northampton with the tools they need to successfully prepare for the future.”


Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities said:

“Cities are where the national economy happens. We have long argued for places up and down the country to have more certainty and long-term funding to invest in infrastructure, as the NIA rightly recommends. That is why we are delighted to be part of the Commission’s initiative, to offer cities extra support and advice, and to share the lessons of this work with places more widely.”

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Cabinet Member for Leadership, Regeneration and Public Protection, Derby City Council said:

“The Commission’s National Infrastructure Assessment, published this year, championed the need for long-term planning and stable funding for our national infrastructure.

“I am very pleased that Derby has been invited by the National Infrastructure Commission to become one of their case study cites. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with such a highly regarded, independent body.

“I believe Derby will benefit greatly from their expert challenge and advice to refresh our current plans and create something that better prepares us for the future. Understanding our future needs integrating transport, housing and employment to better spread the benefits of growth.”

Supporting cities to improve their local transport

Established in 2015, the National Infrastructure Commission is an independent body tasked with providing clear advice to the Government on how best to meet the country’s long-term infrastructure needs.

In its National Infrastructure Assessment – the first of its kind for the UK – the Commission recommends that Ministers provide new powers and £43billion funding on top of current spending levels between now and 2040 to city leaders including Metro Mayors, to develop long-term strategies for improving transport links.

The Assessment also highlights the need for these strategies to be unlocking job opportunities and delivering much-needed new homes.

Following publication of the Assessment, Sir John Armitt wrote to councils in the 45 largest cities in England.

The knowledge-sharing events will allow cities that have expertise in particular areas to make this available to others, and will also include contributions from external experts such as the Centre for Cities.

Derby wants to develop a new growth plan to improve transport, employment and housing in the area, all while also improving air quality and the city’s environmental impact.

The partnership programme also includes working with four cities that will act as mentors and offer advice and support.

The mentoring cities are Greater Manchester, London, the West Midlands Combined Authority including Birmingham, and the West of England Combined Authority including Bristol.