Yorkshire needs to act fast as London loses its lustre
THE EXODUS has begun.
Vast swathes of young people are deserting London, priced out of a capital that bears increasingly little resemblance to the country that it feeds off.
Research by the Office for National Statistics for the Silvertown Partnership indicated that 128,766 people aged 21- 40 left London in 2014 – a rise of seven per cent on the year before.
This chimes with what Nick Owen, the UK chairman of Deloitte, told me about his firm’s real estate strategy over the coming decade.
He believes that regional offices will become increasingly attractive to young people with talent. Mr Owen said: “We have noticed in the last two or three years, the challenge not just for the people we want to bring into the business at new graduate level but also for them with their dependents, the cost of the South East has become prohibitive.”
With hundreds if not thousands of vacancies for software developers in Yorkshire, our region should be making a serious play for this talent.
I was pleased to learn yesterday that plans are already afoot to market this growing sector to millennials who are looking for a better quality of life outside of the capital.
The newly launched Leeds Digital Skills Action Plan includes plans for a digital careers fair in the capital before the end of the year. It will build on the success of last month’s inaugural Digital Jobs Fair, which was organised by Amy De- Balsi, of the tech jobs website Herd and attracted 1,300 candidates and 33 recruiting companies from Yorkshire.
All this reminded me of the conversation I had with Joe Ingham, a fashion model who returned from the capital to start his own fashion business, Nurag Clothing.
The 23- year- old Yorkshireman has modelled on catwalks in London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo for fashion designers including Lanvin, Raf Simons, Rick Owens and Diesel.
He is now working in Yorkshire with local seamstress Liza Violet and Leeds manufacturer Eurostar Clothing to produce his collection.
Mr Ingham launches his collection in Leeds this Thursday. He said: “I want to showcase the North as a great place for talent. Not everything needs to be in London.”
■ I was not saddened to learn that City hedge funds have lost hundreds of millions of dollars since the start of the year after their bearish wagers against mining stocks turned sour.
The Financial Times reported that the FTSE 100’ s two worstperforming stocks of 2015, Anglo American and Glencore, have both seen their prices almost double since the start of the year.
Speculators have been betting against miners as a way to make money out of China’s economic slowdown, but the bounce in commodity prices has sparked a resurgence in the natural resource sector and delivered a bloody nose to the City spivs.
Hull- based Fenner, which supplies industrial belting to the mining sector, has seen its shares recover since their low of 98p on February 3. Shares were trading at 140p yesterday.
Stockbroker Peel Hunt said the rise reflects an improvement in sector sentiment and growing confidence that the group’s balance sheet has sufficient headroom.
Acting chief executive Mark Abrahams is due to update the City later this week.
Analyst Dominic Convey said: “While we cannot rule out further downgrades next week, reflecting the deterioration in US coal and oil and gas markets since January, we remain confident that recent balance sheet fears were excessive.
“We believe that the cost actions to date have ensured the group will weather the current environment and more crucially, is well positioned to benefit from the eventual recovery.
“Ahead of the half year preclose update on Thursday, we retain our 150p target price and Buy recommendation.”
Like Fenner’s conveyer belts, what goes around, comes around.