Businesses urge next government to put enterprise hubs at the top of agenda

Northern Entrepreneurs have called on the next government to create hubs that drive innovation through collaboration.

Research from professional services firm EY found 38 per cent of entrepreneurs said the creation of hubs should be a priority for the next administration.

Stuart Watson, Yorkshire and Humber senior partner at EY, said: “Dynamic entrepreneurs help to create jobs and growth.

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“Delivering a supportive environment that allows them to fulfil their vision can create more confidence in the market and strengthen our economy.

“We saw new and extended Enterprise Zones introduced in the recent Budget, and the results of our survey suggest that Northern entrepreneurs see hubs as a crucial way to foster growth and innovation across the UK.”

The survey of 32 high-growth entrepreneurial businesses in Yorkshire, the North East and North West stood in contrast to results for entrepreneurs based elsewhere in the UK.

A fifth (21 per cent) of the 150 entrepreneurs surveyed nationally said a reduction in the levels of corporation tax was at the top of their wish list for the next government, followed by 14 per cent who rate an extension to tax relief measures as a priority.

Mr Watson said hubs, supported by newly developed infrastructure and local decision making powers, could prove to be “an important ingredient in balancing the UK economy”.

He said: “MediaCityUK in Salford, the offshore industry in the North East and the Humber Enterprise Zone in Yorkshire are just some examples of emerging, successful hubs in the North of England.

“To create effective clusters which drive growth and innovation in the UK, the next Government will need to take a long-term view.”

Hubs could be formed by identifying the sectors where the economy can benefit most, creating an attractive packages of measures for enterprises and supportive investment, he added.