The new Prime Minister faces an intimidating in-tray of economic challenges. Of these, the UK's deep regional divides may be the most deeply ingrained.
Disparate experiences of globalisation and technological change have made the UK one of the most geographically imbalanced economies in Europe. Regional differences in skills, business support, and investment are limiting the nation’s overall potential.
To help address this and find ways to reinvigorate the regions and nations, the IoD drew upon an IoD Policy Voice survey of over 1,000 of our members, interviews with stakeholders across the UK, and insights from our regional and policy teams to produce a new report, Connected Economies, People, and Places. The report, authored by IoD Chief Economist Tej Parikh, makes a series of fresh recommendations to drive up competitiveness as we leave the EU.
To date, the Industrial Strategy has offered a valuable starting point on the regional growth agenda, but the report argues that the UK will need the institutional structures and long-term funding channels to deliver it effectively. Local areas will also require greater autonomy, to invest in their specialisms and to create more responsive local labour markets and business support systems up and down the country. Policymakers will also have to think outside the box to help regenerate rural, coastal and post-industrial parts of the country with investment incentives and support to showcase opportunities beyond London and the Southeast.
Read the full report here