'Big differences' between UK cities


'Big differences' between UK cities
Britain's cities are growing at significantly different rates, a report published today has warned.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) thinktank's Centre for Cities paints a sharply contrasting picture of some cities doing well on employment, growth and benefits reliance and others struggling on the same issues.

It says Reading, Bristol, Southampton, Cambridge and York are the top five cities on these criteria, while Newcastle, Sunderland, Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Liverpool are the worst.

Using its extreme examples to show the disparities that exist across Britain, the report points out Milton Keynes' 36 per cent growth in employment in the last decade compared to Burnley's equivalent growth of just 0.9 per cent.

Centre for Cities director Dermot Finch said urban regeneration across Britain's major urban centres was "unfinished business" which needed to be constantly addressed in the coming ten years.

"We have 'two-track' cities in England. Over the past decade, some have done a lot better than others," he explained.

"Over the next decade, successful cities like Bristol and York will need to maintain their competitive edge and deal with challenges such as congestion, house price inflation and skills shortages. Meanwhile, lagging cities like Sunderland and Liverpool are struggling to catch up and will need to focus on expanding their business and employment base."

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