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UK’s North South divide widens


A new study by Centres for Cities has shown that the gap between economies in the north and south of the UK has widened. Since 2004, for every 12 jobs created in southern cities, only one was created in the north.

The UK economy is strengthening overall, but growth has been mainly driven in southern English cities, as well as big Scottish cities. The number of jobs created in London rose by more than 17% in the last 10 years, but in Blackpool, Rochdale and Gloucester there were falls of 10%. In Scotland, Aberdeen extensive sustained growth compared to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee, largely because of its proximity to the oil and gas fields in the North Sea.

Centre for Cities says there is a danger smaller places could fall behind further as growth patterns become ingrained.

Low oil prices are predicted to fuel a major change in the UK economy this year, as forecasts predict economic growth of 2.9% . Predictions are a lot brighter than they were three months ago, but the weak Eurozone still remains a threat to the UKs growth.

Acting chief executive of Centres for Cities Andrew Carter said:
"The stark picture the report paints of the enormous gap in the fortunes of UK cities over 10 years underlines why a 'steady as she goes' approach must be scrapped."

Government cities minister, Greg Clark, said:
"This government's long-term economic plan is working right across the country.”
"We know there is more to do and that's why we have given greater powers to 27 of the UK's largest cities through City Deals, and why we have committed a further £7bn to the North of England."

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