Gap between Northern and Southern English Cities has ‘Dramatically Widened’

Gap between Northern and Southern English Cities has ‘Dramatically Widened’

A recent study suggests that there are substantial differences between the economy of Northern and Southern English cities, with the North falling far behind the South. Picture courtesy of BBC.

Researchers at the Centre for Cities have discovered a startling disparity between cities in the North and South of England.

The study found that for every 12 jobs created in cities in the South since 2004, only one was generated elsewhere. While London witnessed a 17% increase in jobs created between 2003-2014 Northern cities including Rochdale, Gloucester and Blackpool saw a fall of 10%. Rochdale in greater Manchester, suffered particularly hard with a loss of 9,300 jobs from 2004 to 2013: a drop of 12.2%.

Business start-ups reflect the same figures, with Swindon in the South enjoying the creation of a third more businesses while Northern city Grimsby experienced a fall of 5.5%.

The ten year timeframe of the report also witnessed a population growth in Southern towns and cities of 11.3%: Milton Keynes came top with a 16.5% increase. Only two cities from the North made it in to the top 10 while Sunderland was the sole city that experienced a population decline, losing 1.4%.

The report provides a stark picture of the changing fortunes of English cities over ten years and has led to calls for increased investment and support for cities further North and a change in the Government’s ‘steady as she goes’ policy.

Government Cities Minister Greg Clark responded to criticism outlining that they are aware of this growing economic gap and have taken action providing greater power to 27 of the largest cities in the country through city deals, devoting £7 billion to the development of the North of England.

City deals are good news for these struggling cities as they are designed to contribute £1bn investment and attract a further £3.3bn through the private sector.

The findings tend to imply that Northern cities would benefit profusely from increased Government aid, to bolster prosperity through long-term funding and strategic planning that will ultimately decrease the divide and create a stronger English economy in the long run.

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