A new report published today by the think tank Centre for Cities warns that the Government’s Northern Powerhouse will only succeed if it focuses on boosting productivity in underperforming Northern cities.
The report, Building the Northern Powerhouse: lessons from the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad (sponsored by leading law firm DAC Beachcroft), compares Northern cities to the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad regions of Germany and Holland, which the Government has cited as models for the Northern Powerhouse.
It shows that the success of the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad regions is not the result of extensive connections between cities in these areas, as is often assumed – and that inter-city commuting links in the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad areas are actually little better than in the North of England. Instead, the economic vibrancy of these regions is driven by the strong performance of their individual cities, which are 40 per cent more productive than counterparts in the Northern Powerhouse.
|Top five most productive cities in Northern Powerhouse region||Top five most productive cities in Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad regions|
|City||Productivity (Gross value added per worker, £ 2011)||City||Productivity (Gross value added per worker, £ 2011)|
|1||Leeds||46,575||1||Amsterdam (greater city)||75,188|
Average productivity of Northern Powerhouse cities
Average productivity of Rhine-Ruhr & Randstad cities
Based on this analysis, the report makes a number of recommendations for national and local policy-makers working to build a successful Northern Powerhouse:
Commenting on the findings, Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities said:
“We can’t build a successful Northern Powerhouse without stronger, more productive cities. The Government’s initiative has the potential to have a huge impact in addressing the North/South divide, but only if it maintains its original focus of boosting productivity in major Northern cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle. These big urban areas have the most potential for growth in the region, but are currently underperforming, especially in comparison to cities in more successful areas such as the Rhine-Ruhr and Randstad areas.
“Instead of spreading limited monies and political focus equally across the whole region, national and local policy-makers should concentrate most resources on addressing the economic challenges that big Northern cities and their city regions face, as these have greatest potential to deliver benefits for the North as a whole.”
Mike Bothamley, Head of Real Estate at DAC Beachcroft, who sponsored the report, said:
“The report gives a tangible direction for the evolution of the Northern Powerhouse concept. While supporting regional collaboration it clearly highlights the importance of local action in the drive for sustainable growth and recommends practical actions for planning and development. “
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Brian Semple, Press Manager for the Centre for Cities, on 0207 803 4316 or email@example.com
Centre for Cities
Centre for Cities is a research and policy institute, dedicated to improving the economic success of UK cities. We are a charity that works with cities, business and Whitehall to develop and implement policy that supports the performance of urban economies. We do this through impartial research and knowledge exchange.
With around 2,200 people, DAC Beachcroft combines one of the most comprehensive UK legal networks with coverage across Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia-Pacific.
DAC Beachcroft refers to the DAC Beachcroft Group, which includes a number of differently regulated entities within the UK and internationally.
We provide a full service commercial, transactional, claims, risk and advisory capability. We work with clients in a select range of industry sectors and are market leaders in health, insurance and real estate.
Head of Communications