Mil­ton Keynes will out­shine Lon­don for growth in 2018

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Front page - By Tim Wal­lace

CAM­BRIDGE, Ox­ford and Mil­ton Keynes will have the fastest grow­ing economies of all Bri­tain’s cities in 2018, as the cor­ri­dor north of Lon­don con­tin­ues to at­tract strong in­vest­ment.

De­spite Lon­don’s tra­di­tional prow­ess and re­sources be­ing ploughed into the so-called North­ern Pow­er­house and the Mid­lands En­gine, the trio of cities are set to pros­per the most, based on a sub­stan­tial skills base.

Cam­bridge’s gross value added – a mea­sure of eco­nomic out­put – will grow by 2.3pc in 2018, fol­lowed by Ox­ford and Mil­ton Keynes, both at 2pc, ac­cord­ing to a study from Ir­win Mitchell and the Cen­tre for Eco­nom­ics and Busi­ness Re­search.

That is al­most twice as fast as Manch­ester, Leeds and Birm­ing­ham.

“The Cam­bridge-mil­ton Keynes-ox­ford arc is seen to have the po­ten­tial to be the UK’S Sil­i­con Val­ley and this lat­est re­port high­lights its eco­nomic strength,” said Vic­to­ria Brack­ett at Ir­win Mitchell. The cities’ prox­im­ity to Lon­don is one fac­tor aid­ing their growth, com­bined with high-skilled in­dus­tries which have grown up along­side their uni­ver­si­ties.

It should be bol­stered by a new East­west rail link which is due to start run­ning be­tween the cities in 2023.

Mil­ton Keynes is also “a front-run­ner in the UK for tech­nol­ogy” and is suc­cess­fully at­tract­ing start-ups, the re­port said. Over the course of 2017, Aberdeen came close to knock­ing Cam­bridge off the top spot with GVA growth of 2pc as the oil in­dus­try showed signs of a re­bound, while Derby and Ip­swich also grew at 1.9pc.

But Aberdeen is set to tum­ble down the rank­ings in 2018 with growth of 1.2pc as the oil sec­tor’s resur­gence shows signs of slow­ing.

At the bot­tom of the league ta­ble is Mid­dles­brough in 45th place with ex­pected GVA growth of 0.6pc, Belfast at 0.7pc and Swansea at 0.8pc.

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