Northern Powerhouse struggling to take off, says Irwin Mitchell

The Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative is still struggling to impact on Yorkshire’s economy according to Irwin Mitchell.

The firm has released its latest UK Powerhouse report, which shows that economic growth within Yorkshire’s largest cities will only increase slightly during 2016.

The study, produced with the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), reveals that the total value of the goods and services produced in Leeds is expected to increase to £20.2bn in the next 12 months. In Sheffield, where year-on-year growth up to Q3 of 2015 was 1.6%, GVA is expected to increase by 1.8% during 2016 to reach £11.2bn.

The picture was also positive for Hull with growth going up from 1.6% to 1.7%, but in Bradford growth is expected to slow from 1.6% in to 1.4%.

However, Irwin Mitchell said that the North-South economic divide was still very clear and that more needed to be done to fuel the idea of a Northern Powerhouse. The report found that the value of the economic gap between London and the northern region currently stands at £62billion and is expected to reach £115.3billion in 2025.

Paul Firth, regional managing partner of Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, said: “The information provided by our latest tracker also shows that there is still much to be done to tackle the North-South divide and it’s vital that more is done now before it is too late. The recent devolution deals unlock considerable funds to help boost investment and long-term growth in a number of these cities, however, much of the impact won’t be fully realised in 2016.”