The recent release of Lord Adonis’ Growth Review has stirred some interesting recent debates, some of which argue that a more nuanced perspective is in order when looking at UK’s regions and their growth potentials.
Such a critique comes from Mark Hart, Deputy Director of Enterprise Research Centre, and was published recently on startups.co.uk. Professor Hart argues strongly that the “Adonis Review paints a distorted picture of economic growth”, while the national growth picture is far more complicated than what the reports presents.
Mark Hart notices that Adonis’ Review fails to depict the real state of regional growth in the UK, and overly relies on the argument that the UK’s regions lag behind London. This is the base of the Review for supporting further devolution of power away from Westminster. However, in the opinion of Professor Hart this is not sufficient to support the argument, as it neglects the complexities of “the nature of the regional contrasts”.
The Enterprise Research Centre research comes in support of Mark Hart’s commentary, as this shows that based on the official statistics, the UK’s national growth is not so reliant on London as the Adonis Review states.
The vast majority of private sector jobs have over the 12 months to March 2012 been created outside the capital, with ONS data showing that over 75% of all new private sector jobs have been created outside London.
While London created 551,000 gross new jobs the Local Economic Areas in the Midlands and the North created almost double that number of jobs (just over 1 million).
Moreover, the Review also seems to ignore the “influence of non-urban areas” and the “hidden sources of job and value creation that already exist across some of the UK’s regions”.
In short, to state that London is the UK’s solitary powerhouse is at least an overstatement, which in the perspective of Professor Hart ignores the complexities of UK’s regions.