Responding to latest ONS figures showing vast differences in regional productivity across the UK, Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
“The chasm in productivity across the UK’s regions and nations is holding back our economy.
“Without significant investment outside London and the South East, the rest of the country will continue to lag behind, eating into the UK’s overall potential.
“More funding should go toward developing our regional skills systems, and enhancing the role our world-class universities play in local economies can be starting point. Upgrading existing local road and rail links and our digital infrastructure must be a priority, alongside enhancing connections between our towns and cities.
“The benefits of big-ticket infrastructure improvements, although crucial, won’t be felt immediately. We need greater regional investment incentives for new and growing firms to help catalyse innovation and jobs growth in the here and now.
“The Government’s emphasis on ‘levelling up’ regional growth has hit the right note, but the action needed to achieve this could not come soon enough.”
For other proposals to ‘level up’ the regions, see the IoD’s recent report, Connected Economies, People, and Places.