Eastern Town Promises Post-Lockdown Recovery, But Slower Employment Growth
A new economic report predicts that Peterborough will be among the UK’s top cities to recover from the effects of lockdown in terms of output, but that the jobs market will remain sluggish.
The latest UK Powerhouse report prepared by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) projects that Peterborough will see its GVA* grow year-on-year by 7.4% by the end of Q4 2021, making it one of the UK’s best performing economies.
In line with many other cities, year-on-year employment growth is expected to be slower to recover. Although employment levels are expected to fall, it is at a slower rate than in 2020. The report predicts that total headcount across the city will be 500 lower in Q4 2021 than the last three months of 2020.
With only 36% of cities in the report expected to increase employment levels in Q4 2021, the report goes on to make a series of recommendations to help businesses coming out of lockdown and the steps local and national government can take to boost productivity and the jobs market.
These include the need for policies to encourage investment and improve skills and local government having bespoke plans in place to support job creation.
The UK Government is also encouraged to prioritise implementation of the TCA agreement with the EU with as little disruption as possible to businesses and to continue to negotiate a smoother trading relationship with the EU in the months and years ahead.
The retail sector has been hit hard by lockdown and despite the furlough scheme; many city centres face an uncertain future. Peterborough is no exception to this and the announcement that the city’s John Lewis was one of those earmarked for closure is just one high profile example.
Expert Opinion“Peterborough has big plans for expansion in the next few years and this report suggests the city is on track to see output increase by the end of 2021 and be among the UK’s fastest growing cities.
“Retail has had a tough 12 months and while the plans and a proposed new multi-screen cinema have not been enough to save the Queensgate John Lewis, the expectation is, this will not dent output as much as might have been expected, although employment will lag behind.
“The report makes it clear that cities must have plans to boost investment and skills and with the Bishop’s Road University due to open its doors to students in 2022, with its major focus on education, Peterborough looks to have this covered.
“If the government plays its part in smoothing trade relations with the EU, then the city and the region have much to look forward to. The East of England is home to large life sciences and advanced manufacturing sectors and these are responsible for a significant amount of exports to the EU. No one will want to see this put at risk as Peterborough and the wider region look to build back better in the years ahead.” Victoria Brackett - CEO of Business Legal Services & Partner