Vox Pop

While Mintel’s research last week shows London tops the Euro league of city break destinations, other UK cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield are failing to live up to their continental coun

‘I can speak of Manchester, a city transformed in the past decade. After a visit to the city, Richard Morrison, a self-confessed London cynic, said in a recent article in The Times, “Possibly no European regional city has a more vibrant cultural life… Its metamorphosis has been nothing less than astonishing.” It’s a basic question of an image needing to catch up with reality – hindered, perhaps, by the weather and abysmal national transport.’

Ben Casey, Creative director, The Chase, Manchester

‘What needs to be done to attract more international (inward) investment? It’s simple. Look at it from the point of view of the customer – the business in Milan, Salt Lake City or Seoul and ask, why would I want to set up a division of my business in, let’s say for example, Leicester? If there isn’t a reason, then find one. Then communicate it. The organisation that does it should be responsible for the strategic development of Leicester PLC and accountable to the taxpayer.’

Michael Rodber, Director, Jones Garrard, Leicester

‘Man cannot survive on shopping alone (and despite popular opinion, neither can woman). Cities need more than great shops, stylish bars and trendy loft apartments. They need iconic, exciting, intriguing buildings that draw people in and get you noticed. Look at what has happened to Bilbao since the new Guggenheim opened. And let’s face it, nobody is going to come here for the weather.’

Richard Scholey, Creative director, Elmwood, Leeds

‘Simply increase the size of London to include Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.’

Spencer Buck, Creative director, Taxi Studio, Bristol

‘For other cities in the UK to rise to the challenge they need to become unique and special. In Nottingham I see a combination of a positive attitude among local creative industries combining with hefty European and Government investment leading to a brighter future. There is a feeling here of a city on the move. We can’t rely on a myth in green tights forever.’

Ian Tatham, Creative director, Twelve Ten, Nottingham

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