The UK is one of the most geographically unequal countries among developed economies and it’s impacting the country’s growth potential. To create economic opportunities in every region and nation of the UK, business and government must come together, making targeted interventions that can be sustained.
We need every region and nation across the UK firing on all cylinders, harnessing their own unique assets, business culture and economic potential to deliver long term growth. This means shifting away from the cookie-cutter thinking of the past and towards building on distinctive local strengths, with a clear and unique proposition for investment.
Every region and nation of the UK must be empowered to capitalise on unique opportunities and play to its strengths. By doing so, they will be able to forge their own path to long-term prosperity.
To read more about the prizes on offer for businesses in growing regional economies, take a look at the CBI’s Seize the Moment report - an economic strategy to transform the UK economy.
So, what is the CBI doing?
The CBI’s regional policy work will focus on three main areas to enable all regions and nations to thrive.
- Make the UK a world leader in cluster development
The UK’s productivity has stagnated. This holds back wage growth and living standards, making us one of the most unequal countries in the OECD.
Clusters are a tried and tested method for improving productivity with examples of success in countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, Israel, as well as regions such as Hamburg in Germany, or Silicon Valley and Hollywood in the US.
Clusters bring together businesses, suppliers, universities, and research organisations so that they gain a competitive advantage over other places. They drive innovative behaviours and help attract world class talent to UK businesses.
The CBI is calling on the government and business to support our efforts to make the UK a world leader in cluster development.
- Tackling barriers to growth
We can improve productivity and income disparities across every region in the UK by enabling local investment and decision-making.
Empowering regions and local areas can boost growth in their high-productivity sectors and those sectors of comparative advantage, through additional job creation and business investment.
That’s why we’re calling on the government to enable regions to take control of their growth – through fostering private sector growth and investment, as well as devolving power and funding to make a tangible difference.
We are also leveraging our networks, relationships and expertise of the CBI’s national and regional teams to make meaningful policy interventions, propositions and commercial partnerships to elevate opportunities and tackle barriers within each region and nation of the UK.
- Shaping the levelling up agenda to deliver for all parts of the UK
Spanning across a number of CBI campaigns including transport, productivity, infrastructure, health, clusters, we’re also focused on shaping the levelling up agenda, so it delivers for all parts of the UK.
The government’s policy white paper Levelling Up, includes details of a new devolution framework, the establishment of a new independent data body and a new Levelling Up Advisory Council.
Prior to the publication of the white paper, the CBI fed into the consultation, sharing member insights. This led to the recognition of the CBI view that business driven economic clusters can be a catalyst which brings levelling up ambitions to life.
The CBI will continue to engage on behalf of members, ensuring the business voice is heard on the Levelling Up agenda.
Get Involved in the CBI’s Thriving Regions work in 2022
With a government focused on levelling up, 2022 will be the year to help us to strengthen our regional economies. There are plenty of opportunities for your business to shape, lead and embrace change.
Ahmed Goga – Director of Regional Policy & Clusters
Matthew Lowe – Senior Policy Adviser (Midlands)
Nicky Williams – Policy Adviser (South West)
Simon Dishman – Senior Policy Adviser (London)