Lessons to learn from Leicester success in urban policy

With a Premier League winning football team and World Snooker Champion to its name, eyes have turned to Leicester as a force to be reckoned with in the sporting world. But an expert from our School of Management argues in a new opinion piece that this Midlands city has been leading in more areas than just sport - and the story of its success offers ‘pertinent lessons’ to others.

Dr Martin Quinn, Lecturer in Regional Development, discusses how Leicester has built a strong base for culture, arts and heritage despite limited reputation in this area previously and how its approach to urban policy distinguishes it from other UK cities.

"Three main lessons can be drawn from the experiences of both the East Midlands and Leicestershire." He argues. "They are that place has an important impact on policy outcomes, the role of local government is critical and that strong leadership is essential."

Through embracing government policies such as Multi-Area Agreements and the office of the Elected Mayor, Dr Quinn says that strong political leadership and a close relationship between local authorities have He said: "These individuals have driven the economic agenda in the redevelopment of the city and without similar such strong leadership other areas of the country have lagged behind.

"The innovative reuse of old building stock and imaginative reworking of the City’s infrastructure has seen a growth in the number of small entrepreneurial businesses being set up with Leicester now having the fastest business growth rate outside of London according to the Economist.