Newly formed City Growth Commission could help regional SMEs gain share in economic recovery

IN: Industry news

A newly formed independent group, designed to review how the UK could address the growing imbalance between London and the rest of Britain's cities, could spell positive news for small businesses outside of the capital.

The City Growth Commission, launched this week, will explore initiatives which could be trialled to boost growth in the UK's larger cities, with Boris Johnson commenting to CityAM that he looked forward "their exploration of this vital issue."

As revealed by research from the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change at Manchester University, London and the South East's contribution to UK output grew from 37 per cent before the recession to 48 per cent in 2011.

"Since the crash, London and the south-east have continued to pull away from the rest of the national economy," comments Adam Leaver, a representative from the Manchester Business School. "The wedge between them and the rest of Britain has been driven in deeper."

In particular, this disparity is a sign of increasing reliance on the services sector, with UK manufacturing still struggling to attain pre-crisis levels.

The sector has seen several pockets of growth emerge in recent months, with the West Midlands notably experiencing 30 per cent export growth since the first quarter of 2011. Despite this, analysis from The Guardian suggests the share of credit directed towards manufacturing businesses has fallen sharply from 9.7 per cent in 2008 to just 5.9 per cent.

You can discover more about the health of UK manufacturing in our series from earlier in the year. 

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