TAYLOR, P.J. ... et al, 2010. Balancing London? A preliminary investigation of the “Core Cities” and “Northern Way” spatial policy initiatives using multi-city corporate and commercial law firms. European Planning Studies, 18 (8), pp. 1285-1299.
This paper reports a preliminary investigation into the economic efficacy of two
spatial frameworks – English Core Cities and the Northern Way – recently
promoted by national policy makers. We ask whether they are consistent with
contemporary economic process in the UK space economy through analyses of
commercial multi-city law firms. The latter are treated as an ‘indicator sector’ to
define the contemporary UK space economy as practised by law firms. Within
this new space of flows, the location strategies of the law firms do confirm the
salience of the Northern Way (as trans-Pennine corridor) and Core Cities as part
of a larger UK metropolitan space of flows. Conflating the two spatial frameworks
leads us to identify hints of a rebalancing of London within a metropolitan UK
space. A Manchester polycentric mega-city region is found to be the likely
candidate for this role. This finding in no way impinges on London’s dominant
global role and we conclude that perhaps mutuality between London and
provincial cities is beginning to replace past negative dependency relations.