Investors are urged to tap into Yorkshire

Britain’s regions do not attract the attention they deserve and investors need to tap into Yorkshire and other strong and resilient economies outside London, according to a new report by economists at Oxford Economics.

York and Bradford were singled out as professional services hotspots while Sheffield and Hambleton are seen as hubs for digital and creative industries.

The report showed that Yorkshire and Humber saw a 3.8 per cent increase in productivity over the past five years​ and this is set to rise dramatically to 9.8 per cent over the next five years.

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​The​ study​,​ commissioned by the International Festival for Business​ to better understand the national and international economic landscape, predicts that 1.3 million new jobs will be created over the next five years as the country’s international competitiveness and exports improve.

The study analysed the performance of the UK economy and local economies beyond London with a focus on the manufacturing, energy & environment, professional services and digital & creative sectors.

​​In professional services Bradford and York scored highly in terms of job creation.

Some 3,487 jobs were created in professional, scientific and technical services in Bradford over the past five years and 1,711 were created in York as both cities start to give Leeds a run for its money as a Northern professional services hub.

Max Steinberg, ​c​hair of the International Festival for Business, said: “Yorkshire and Humber was one of the top places outside London to create jobs. The county is seeing the increasing importance of professional services.

“Yorkshire is doing extremely well in creative, digital and professional services.”

Sheffield scored highly in terms of digital and creative hotspots with 2,685 jobs created over the past five years while Hambleton in North Yorkshire is making its mark with the creation of 628 new jobs.

“Digital and creative industries are emerging as a key source of employment growth in Sheffield, again proving to be a key industry for helping a local economy to develop new sources of employment, as it reduces its once very heavy reliance on traditional industries as generators of employment growth,” the report said.

Hambleton is also carving a niche for itself in manufacturing with 716 new jobs created over the past five years.

The report w​ill be​ launched today at London Stock Exchange to mark “one year out” from the second UK International Festival for Business to be held in Liverpool next June.

The event brings together thousands of businesses for three weeks of networking and deal-making.

The study also revealed​ that m​anufacturing productivity is expected to rise by 15.5​ per cent ​in total over the next ​five​ years.

Rising productivity ​is expected to boost the UK’s international competitiveness, particularly in manufacturing which will see a 35​ per cent​ rise in the value of exports.

Wages ​are expected to​ grow nationally, but fastest in the South East​.

Mr Steinberg said: “It’s clear the economic recovery is about to turn another corner – with rising productivity driving a surge in disposable incomes and in our international competitiveness.

“London is central to our economy, but this report makes it clear that Britain has productive and creative hotspots beyond the City that will make significant contributions to the country’s economy over the next five years.”

John Cridland, ​d​irector-​g​eneral of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), added: “There’s no doubt that ramping up British exports and business investment is critical to our long-term growth.

“Next year’s International Festival of Business will be a fantastic opportunity for the United Kingdom to attract business, trade and investment from around the world.

“A rise in productivity will be a key ingredient in the sustained success of the recovery, so it’s important business and the Government work together to solve the problem through investing in skills and supporting investment.”