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Today, six Metro Mayors will be elected. 


In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West of England, and the West Midlands, they will be directly elected leaders of Combined Authorities – taking responsibility for a range of responsibilities, from transport to planning, housing to infrastructure, that have been held in Whitehall.


I have written for Policy Network on the potential that enhanced city region leadership holds for culture and creativity. Looking more closely at how these issues have featured in the elections:


  • “Greater Manchester is home to some fantastic museums, galleries, theatres and live music venues,” writes Andy Burnham in his manifesto. “But if we don’t take steps to support culture across the City-Region then we are in danger of falling behind.”

  • “We will,” declares Steve Rotheram in Liverpool, “support ground-breaking initiatives at our universities including the Sensor City project and work in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Robotics.”

  • Sue Jeffrey wants “world class digital infrastructure” for Tees Valley.

  • Both the leading candidates in the West Midlands, Siôn Simon and Andy Street, participated at a hustings on the creative and cultural industries at the REP, Birmingham last week.


Many other issues have been covered in these mayoral elections – housing, planning, transport, inward investment, mental health, tourism, exports – to which the creative and cultural industries are relevant. These industries have the potential to help deliver many of the goals set by these new Mayors. We will be keeping a close eye in the coming months, blogging their developments.

Metro Mayors on culture and the creative industries

An opportunity for new leadership?

May 4, 2017

Green Cities helping climate change through culture and sustainability

Nov 4, 2021

How are major cities around the world responding to climate change through cultural policies and programmes?

The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability

Paul Owens

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Apr 22, 2021

5 Priorities for World Cities in the post-covid recovery period

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Paul Owens

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Dec 4, 2020

Culture can play an important role in recovery and renewal across the UK, if the right local decision-making is put in place

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Callum Lee

Central London’s celebrated

Sep 23, 2020

This focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery

Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril

Jonathan Todd

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Aug 21, 2020

Three big questions as applications close for Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Jul 30, 2020

The UK’s £1.57 billion recovery package: priorities for a New Deal

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Jul 20, 2020

Cities are using their unique capabilities to lead recovery and renewal

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Jul 7, 2020

Investing in recovery, planning for transformation

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Paul Owens

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Jun 30, 2020

Recovery and renewal will depend on how we address the three dimensions of the crisis

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Paul Owens

Take planning and collaboration to whole a new level.

Jun 3, 2020

In the face of radical uncertainty leaders and policy-makers will have to take planning and collaboration to whole a new level

‘Plans are useless, planning is essential’

Paul Owens

Relief, Recovery and Renewal

May 13, 2020

Nobody knows what will happen next, but we have a good idea of the three necessary steps out of the crisis

Relief, Recovery and Renewal: navigating our way to a new kind of future

Paul Owens

The Golden Thread in the 2020s

Dec 20, 2019

A cause for optimism

Weaving the Golden Thread into the 2020s

Paul Owens

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By BOP Consulting

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist

Jonathan is an economist with over a decade’s experience in impact assessment and evaluation, and high-level policy experience, particularly within the cultural and creative sectors.

Jonathan Todd - Chief Economist | BOP Consulting

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Jonathan Todd

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist