Britain’s north/south divide has widened dramatically since 2004, according to new research by research institute, The Centre for Cities.
The Centre for Cities’ 2015 Cities Outlook report shows that for every 12 new net job created in the south of England, only one was created throughout cities in the rest of Great Britain.
The report says that the divide has been worsened by a combination of the global financial crisis and the move to high tech, knowledge intensive business, which has happened too fast for many cities to adapt.
Milton Keynes had the highest growth rate, with 24,400 jobs created between 2004 and 2013, representing a 18.2% increase. Gloucester suffered the lowest growth, losing 8,100 jobs – a 12.6% loss.
London, Cambridge, Brighton and Bournemouth made the top five, with Rochdale, Blackpool, Newport and Hull languishing at the bottom.
The report calls for powers to be devolved to individual cities, giving them greater fiscal and structural power, which would help Councils spend money where it’s most needed and encourage economic growth.
Andrew Carter, acting CEO of Centre for Cities, said:
“Cities need long-term funding and strategic planning, and policies that go to the heart of addressing the key drivers of economic growth – including transport, planning, skills and housing.
“This report throws down the gauntlet for all parties to turn their recent interest and pledges around cities and devolution into a clear plan to grow jobs and businesses, and improve quality of life throughout the United Kingdom.”
In November 2014 Manchester became the first city outside of London to be given devolved powers and the promise of its own mayor.
Chancellor George Osborne said:
“I want to talk to other cities who are keen to follow Manchester’s lead – every city is different, and no model of local power will be the same.”
However, no plans have been announced so far for other cities to be given this opportunity.
Image by Pier-Luc Bergeron