Tuesday, April 17, 2018

News: Rotherham economy flying high

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Rotherham's £4.3 billion a year economy was a top performer in 2017 according to recent research, staying at the top of the UK Powerhouse rankings for GVA growth.

The UK Powerhouse study is produced by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and provides an estimate of GVA growth and job creation within 45 of the UK's largest cities 12 months ahead of the Government's official figures.

Rothbiz reported in January on Rotherham's stellar performance for the third quarter of 2017 which meant that its economy was ranked as the eighth fastest growing economy in the UK, rising 18 places to rank alongside the likes of Cambridge Aberdeen, Derby and Oxford.

For quarter 4 of 2017, the Rotherham economy continued to grow with a rate of 1.4%, and ranked at 13th, well within the top third of the regional economies in the study. Cambridge again came out top.

GVA, or Growth Value Added, is the increase in the value of the economy due to the production of goods and services. It is widely recognised by Government and policy makers as a measure of local economies.

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The study estimated the annualised GVA of the Rotherham economy at £4.3 billion. Sheffield, ranked 38th with 1.1% growth had annualised GVA at £11.6 billion. Hull topped the Yorkshire list with 1.5% growth and annualised GVA at £5.5 billion.

The study also analysed future prospects and predicted that Rotherham's GVA growth rate will drop slightly to 1.3% in Q4 2018, with Sheffield's rate expected to fall further to 0.7%. Both are expected to maintain their employment rate.

Looking further ahead, the report did sound a warning that both GVA and employment growth in both economies are set to fall by 2028.

Dorrien Peters, partner and Head of Business Legal Services at Irwin Mitchell, said: "This latest report highlights the excellent work being undertaken within Rotherham and how the city has been able to maintain its strong performance in terms of GVA growth across the final months of last year.

"Manufacturing will have undoubtedly played an important role in terms of Rotherham's figures, with the Advanced Manufacturing Park just outside of the city being a vital hub of activity.

"However, the report does come with a word of warning in terms of long-term prospects and it could well be an issue that business leaders need to try and address in the coming years."

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The Rotherham Economic Plan seeks to increase GVA through growing, attracting and starting businesses. It highlights that, while GVA is a sign of economic vitality, it is not possible to produce an accurate figure at borough level.

In the wider Sheffield city region (SCR), it has been estimated that the city region's GVA has to increase by £3 billion just to reach the national average (excluding London) and GVA per head in SCR is only £16,786, suggesting low productivity.

Images: Nuclear AMRC

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