Bristol region’s economy confirmed as strongest outside London
A new national report has confirmed the Bristol city region’s status as one of the strongest performing major English cities outside London.
The city scored well on a range of economic indicators, and is the only city region to consistently outperform the national average.
The Cities Outlook 2014 from urban think tank Centre for Cities demonstrates the region’s status as the most economically resilient outside of London.
The report makes the case for further financial devolution from the country’s centre to its cities, a cause which local public sector and business leaders are championing.
These same leaders are confused by one aspect of the report, which suggests the Bristol city region (including parts of South Gloucestershire) suffered from 13,900 reported job losses in the private sector and 500 in the public sector between 2010 and 2012.
This appears to be at odds with competing statistics from the Office of National Statistics, whose Annual Population Survey data shows an overall increase in jobs in the private sector of around 3,400 for the same time period.
George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, comments: “I have great respect for Centres for Cities and very much agree with their view that the English cities need more in the way of devolved powers and control over funding to ensure we make the most of our local strengths.
“Bristol is currently the only major city in England outside the South East to make a positive contribution to the UK economy.
“The reported job losses up to 2012, whether accurate or not, only serves to stimulate my determination to create and attract more business in the Bristol city region and further strengthen our position as leader in a variety of sectors.
Paul Wilson, Chief Executive of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership comments: “Devolving powers, finances and responsibilities to City Regions is the best way for UK plc to realise its full potential.
“Our City Region has a terrific investment grade and competes internationally.
“The figures used by the excellent Centre for Cities do not conform to the wider data set that we see.”