Yorkshire’s cities face slowdown as South East prospers, says report

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds
Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds
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YORKSHIRE’s cities are experiencing an economic slowdown while the South East prospers, according to a new study.

The UK Powerhouse study produced by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), provides an estimate of GVA (gross value added) growth and job creation within 45 of the UK’s largest cities. The study found that Leeds’ economy grew by 1.7 per cent in the 12 months to the second quarter of 2017 .

An Irwin Mitchell spokesman said: “The slowdown in the rate of growth compares to GVA of 2.1 per cent in the previous quarter and has resulted in the city falling five places in the report’s league table.”

Leeds now ranks at 25th in the report’s table, while York is 13th, Sheffield is 33rd, Bradford is 36th and Hull ranks 38th. Sheffield’s economy grew at a rate of 1.5 per cent during the period while Bradford and Hull’s GVA increased by just 1.4 per cent.

In a period where cities in the South East and the East of England performed strongly, Milton Keynes came top with GVA growth of 2.6 per cent in the year to the end of the second quarter of 2017, on the back of its booming technology sector and track record for encouraging start-ups, the report said.

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, said: “Our latest research confirms that the UK Powerhouse’s Northern generators are still not running anywhere close to full load, and that those in our region need firing up. The technology sector can certainly fuel that fire, with the digital and creative industries booming in the Leeds City Region and beyond, but it needs the right raw materials both now and in the future.”

Castleton Mills in Armley, Leeds, which has undergone a transformation. 
Picture by Simon Hulme

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