Transport Infrastructure In The City And Across The North Needs To Be Improved
The UK Government should redouble its efforts to rebalance the economy after a new report predicts a widening gap between the North and the South East one year after the UK’s expected departure from the EU.
The UK Powerhouse study by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), predicts that in 2020 Q4, Sheffield’s annual GVA* growth of 1.1% will put it in 33rd place in the study’s league table. Rotherham’s was slightly higher with an annual growth rate of 1.3%.
Milton Keynes, Reading and Oxford will be in the top three for economic growth with no locations in the North in the top 10. All three South East locations are expected to have an annual GVA growth in 2020 Q4 of around 2%.
The forecasts are based on the assumption that an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement will form the basis of the future UK – EU relationship. It also assumes a transitional arrangement will be put in place that allows a continuation of the current relationship without any major disruptions until at least 2021.
There was better news in terms of employment for Sheffield with the city appearing 12th in the league table for job creation.
It did however say that more needed to be done in terms of improving the transport infrastructure in the city, highlighting that the nearest airport is 18 miles away and the rail and road networks are overcrowded when compared to other cities.
Expert Opinion“This report paints a mixed picture for Sheffield but concludes that in order to encourage a pickup in GVA growth in the city, our transport infrastructure in the city and across the North needs to be improved.
“Brexit has and will continue to take up a lot of Government time, but it is vital that the rebalancing the UK economy and building on the potential of the Northern Powerhouse is made a priority.”
Dorrien Peters - Partner
All forecasts in this report utilise Cebr’s central scenario. Cebr’s central forecasts are based on the assumption that an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement will form the basis of the future UK – EU relationship. We further assume that a transitional arrangement will be put in place that allows a continuation of the current relationship without any major disruptions until at least 2021. On the immigration policy, we rely on the lower immigration population estimates assuming that a visa system will be implemented for EU nationals, but that the requirements (e.g. the minimum salary, the NHS surcharge payment, the application fees, etc.) would be more relaxed than they currently are for non-EU nationals requiring a visa.
* Gross value added