Channel 4’s national headquarters opening in Leeds, Bradford’s bid to be UK Capital of Culture in 2025, promising signs for the digital sector in our cities and ambitions for a “green industrial revolution” across the North are some of the examples of how people in the region have worked to provide opportunities for future generations.
Yet we report exclusively today of a warning from Labour that young people leaving the region in search of jobs will only get worse if more high-skilled roles are not created closer to home.
That this “brain drain” should continue despite the efforts of so many feels like another nail in the coffin for the Government’s much-trumpeted “levelling up” agenda after it scaled back HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, projects this newspaper has relentlessly called for to better the prospects of families around the region and the wider North.
Home ownership is another way for people to get on in life but is proving ever more difficult, with the latest Halifax House Price Index showing Average prices at a record high of £276,759 after increasing by 9.7 per cent in a year.
Meanwhile, Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, said on Twitter that presenter Kirstie Allsopp offered “good advice” when he shared a headline suggesting she said young people could afford a home if they “just move somewhere cheaper”.
Assuming that wages in these “cheaper” areas aren’t also lower, suddenly deciding to up sticks and settle somewhere more affordable can tear families apart when, really, people ought to be able to forge a future within the communities they were raised if they wish to do so.
We must give the young incentives to remain in the region, or we will all be the poorer for it.