As Sheffield and Leeds work more closely on a ‘connected ambition’ for both economies, new figures show the gulf between them.
The two city regions will share a stand at MIPIM, the world’s largest property fair in Cannes next month, on the basis they are two of the leading economic forces in the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ concept. James Newman, Chairman of Sheffield City Region LEP said: “In such a highly competitive market place, working together and having a connected ambition can only strengthen our proposition. Our focus for MIPIM 2015 is to showcase the economic potential we both have.”
Publicity material from Sheffield’s Local Enterprise Partnership shows its economy is worth £28.8bn – compared to Leeds at £56bn, some five per cent of England’s total.
Sheffield City Region is home to 45,000 businesses and has a workforce of 1.2m, while Leeds has more than double – 106,000 companies – and a slightly larger workforce of 1.4m.
It also has the largest regional financial sector in England, is the largest manufacturing centre in the UK and last year agreed a £1bn Local Growth Deal with Government, the largest in the UK.
In January an additional £54.6m investment was granted, boosting the growth deal.
Sheffield’s Growth Deal was £320m. Meanwhile, new figures from the Office of National Statistics show Sheffield City Region has the second lowest GVA per head in the country – out of 39 LEP areas – just ahead of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
GVA per head is a measure of the relative economic performance of an area.
Roger Marsh, chair of Leeds City Region LEP, said, “We are pleased to work with Sheffield City Region. The North is in a strong position to demonstrate the opportunities in the regions.”