Advancing inclusive innovation policy in the UK’s second-tier city-regions

Katherine Parsons, Rick Delbridge, Elvira Uyarra, David Waite, Robert Huggins, Kevin Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The UK exhibits stark regional economic divides which have been a long running concern for policymakers. With the levelling up agenda taking shape, city-regions in the UK are developing innovation and business support policies in seeking to deliver on a range of goals from traditional productivity concerns to wider social and environmental imperatives. Drawing on interviews with key actors in the city-regions of Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow, this paper points to an emerging directional change in innovation policy, yet we show that capacities to articulate and implement an inclusive innovation approach vary widely. The uneven landscape for innovation policy within each of the city-regions, in terms of the location of innovation assets but also the varied institutional and social legacies shaping innovation policy, is also brought into view. Central to the reshaping of innovation policy in all cases, however, are agents working in networks, fashioning narratives and marshalling data in efforts to mobilise new ways of practicing innovation policy within what remains a centralised approach to sub-national economic development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Regional Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Feb 2024


  • Left-behind places
  • Inclusive Innovation
  • City-regions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


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