New report highlights growth in the North

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The North of England contributed six per cent more to the national economy than Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined, a new report by an independent think tank has suggested.

But the IPPR North report also concluded that in the decade to 2012, the devolved nations were spending “far more” per head on increasing their economies through skills and infrastructure investment, plus research and development, while the North grew at a slower rate.

An analysis of regions in the report found the North contributed 19.2 per cent in gross value-added economic growth, with Scotland on 7.7 per cent, Wales on 3.4 per cent and Northern Ireland on 2.1 per cent - a total of 13.2 per cent.

It found that over the last 10 years government spending on economic affairs had been “highly skewed” towards London and Scotland.

The report, entitled The State of the North: Setting a baseline for the devolution decade, identified that in the decade to 2012 the fastest-growing local economies (Local Enterprise Partnership areas) in the North were Cumbria at 46 per cent, plus Cheshire and Warrington (43 per cent) followed by Greater Manchester (42 per cent) and Sheffield (41 per cent).

It also suggested that the major city-regions of the North were driving employment growth.