Cities in Yorkshire experience economic slowdown whilst the South East prospers
25th October 2017
The level of economic growth generated within cities in Yorkshire continues to fall behind that in the South East, according to a new report published by national law firm Irwin Mitchell.
The UK Powerhouse study is produced by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr). It provides an estimate of GVA* growth and job creation within 45 of the UK's largest cities 12 months ahead of the Government's official figures. According to the report, Sheffield's economy grew at 1.5% in the 12 months to 2017 Q2. The slowdown in the rate of growth compares to GVA of 2.0% in the previous quarter and has resulted in the city falling two places in the report's league table. Leeds' economy grew by 1.7% during the period whilst Bradford and Hull's GVA increased by just 1.4%. In a period where locations in the South East and the East of England dominated, Milton Keynes came top with GVA growth of 2.6% in the year to the end of Q2 2017 on the back of its booming technology sector and its track record for encouraging start-ups. Top and bottom five cities by annual GVA growth, Q2 2017 Source: Office for National Statistics, Cebr analysis The report does highlight the strength of Sheffield's technology sector, with the latest figures revealing that the value of goods and services produced within the sector stood at £184 million - the 14th highest in the UK. It is further predicted that the UK-wide number of jobs in the technology sector will increase by 24% in next 10 years. However, the report raises concerns that the true potential might not be realised. To ensure all cities including those in Yorkshire benefit from the available opportunities in the tech sector, the report advises a holistic approach and makes a number of recommendations. These include: Tackling the shortage of highly skilled employees by encouraging more women to enter the industry Investing and opening more 'code academies' to increase the number of people with the necessary skills in programming languages Establishing a plan that allows the existing data flows between the UK and the rest of Europe to continue before the UK officially leaves the EU Expanding the Start Up Loans scheme for new business ideas by providing financing deals which offer higher amounts on lower interest rates Changing the current UK entrepreneur tax relief scheme as it encourages small firms to sell out early and inhibits the number of businesses reaching unicorn size Funding knowledge sharing and skill building platforms, including events for new businesses to network and discuss ideas with successful technology entrepreneurs