Communities minister Greg Clark has taken on the role of minister for cities with immediate effect, the government announced.
Clark's initial remit will be to focus on the eight so-called core cities – including Liverpool and Manchester – to "harness their potential to drive growth and prosperity."
He will take on the role in addition to his existing responsibilities and become a minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as well as the Department for Communities and Local Government. Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, will chair a ministerial group including the minister for cities.
The government announcement said: "The group will seek to develop new ideas for cities and consider the impact of existing policies. [Liberal Democrat] Lord John Shipley will also act as an adviser to Government on cities policy, drawing on his extensive experience as the leader of Newcastle City Council.
"In recognition of the varied characteristics of cities, the intention is to combine a cross-cutting approach with work to look at cities on an individual basis. This will start initially by focusing on the Core Cities and their surrounding areas, with a view to expanding to a broader group and identifying issues relevant to a wide range of cities."
The core cities are the eight largest cities outside of London – Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield.