Boost regional growth and add £200bn to the economy

Boost regional growth and add £200bn to the economy

Prosperity and productivity for every region in the UK

There is a chasm between the prosperity of our UK regions. But improving regional productivity could add £200bn to our economy over the next decade, lifting pay packets and raising living standards. By empowering local investment and decision-making, every region in the UK can benefit from national prosperity.

The change we’re calling for 

That’s why we’re calling on the government to enable regions to take control of their growth – through not only a guiding strategy tailored to each region’s needs, but also the devolved power and funding to make a tangible difference.

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    Put in place local plans and strategies to enable regions to build upon sector strengths and comparative advantages

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    Devolve decision-making power down to the right local level

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    Develop local funding that is simple, easy to access, agile and effective

Why it’s needed

The most productive area of the UK remains almost three times more productive than the least. And this is having an impact on our international competitiveness too: more than half of UK cities are among the 25% least productive in Europe. The UK remains the most centralised nation in the G7, which may go some way to explaining why our productivity lags behind.

Each region has its own priorities, including historical investment, employment opportunities, education, transport and exports. Enabling regions to level up with access to the right funding, and the ability for areas to make local decisions, will make a real difference in closing the productivity gap.

Local leaders, working with their wider communities, are best-placed to recognise an area’s strengths and development needs. Mayoral combined authorities provide long-term certainty for business investment and champion their region’s interests, nationally and internationally. But to guarantee no region falls behind, a long-promised framework for devolved power needs to be published. This must include clarity on future deals across England, but also on how areas can secure meaningful devolution and deliver growth.

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"We can achieve shared prosperity across the UK by closing the regional productivity gap. To do so, places must be in a strong position to deliver upon economic strategies including having appropriate powers, adequate funding and democratic accountability."

Matthew Fell, Chief UK Policy Director

From local focus to national success

To compete globally, the UK must address its productivity gap between regions. 

The UK has the widest regional disparities in living standards of any country in the EU, so the CBI is looking into why these differences exist and what we can do about them.

  • of UK cities are performing below the European average

  • the productivity gap between London and any other nation or region in the UK

  • the estimated productivity gap in the Northern Powerhouse region

Our progress and impact 

The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all. Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.

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Support the change

  1. Are you a business leader?

    Join the CBI

    Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK. Join the voice of business, and help us close the prosperity chasm between different UK regions.

    Find out more
  2. Are you a CBI member?

    Have your say

    Is your business impacted by regional imbalances in the UK economy? Are your regional bodies working hard for your business? Share your views and help strengthen our calls to government.

    Get involved
  3. Are you a policymaker?

    Make a difference

    This campaign is led by the CBI's Regional Growth team.

    Contact Jim Hubbard, Head of Regional Policy, to find out how you can play your part in unlocking regional growth.

    Contact us