Bosses across Yorkshire demand improvements in rail system

YORKSHIRE's economy is in a transitional phase as it moves from heavy industry and manufacturing towards a greater focus on the technology and service sectors, according to a new study.

Tom Riordan has called for greater collaboration to boost the regional economy Picture by Simon Hulme

The report by Deloitte also found that many business leaders are demanding improvements to the rail system.

While manufacturing still represents 15 per cent of the regional economy, above the 10 per cent national average, sectors including financial and insurance, transportation and storage and public administration are demonstrating the strongest productivity growth, according to Deloitte’s study.

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Deloitte’s Power Up UK-Wide Growth is based on responses from 50 business leaders, educators, local government officials and other key figures from across the UK.

Beckie Hart, CBI regional director, said: “The biggest challenge affecting business in the region is definitely infrastructure; 55% of businesses in the region are dissatisfied with the current infrastructure and 95% of businesses in our region think that the Northern Powerhouse rail proposition is very important. Better infrastructure is a huge driver of improving productivity.”

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said collaboration would help to unlock growth.

He added: “Collaboration has most impact when businesses, universities and councils align their collective efforts and investments around specific assets and skills that are distinctive and of national and global significance.”

He said the best example in Leeds is “HealthTech”, which uses technology to improve patient care.