30 Apr 2012
Potential of North 'worth £40 billion'
The UK economy would be £40 billion better off if the economic potential of the North was used properly, according to a new study by the Northern Economic Futures Commission: “Narrowing the gap in output between the North of England and the other regions by 50% would be equivalent to more than £1,600 per English worker.”
The Commission, which is made up of high-profile figures from business, academia and the public sector, said a greater focus on the potential of the North of England would bring benefits for the whole of the UK.
The study found the value of export goods, business investment in R&D, and rates of entrepreneurship are all growing faster in the North than the South. Geoff Muirhead, chairman of the Commission, said: “The North-South divide has existed for too long and is having a negative effect on the national economy, which is desperate for growth. The Commission is convinced that we can unlock the potential for vital growth in the North of England, if the Government creates a more-level playing field.
“The North doesn’t need more hand-outs, just a long-term economic strategy that recognises the differences between places and the need for more-local approaches to skills, innovation and infrastructure.”