The Work Foundation report, ‘Recession and Recovery: How UK cities can respond and drive the recovery’, focused on 12 UK cities, including Manchester and Liverpool, and looked at why some cities are suffering more than others in the recession.
Manchester is hailed as “the most successful example of city regeneration in the UK” in the report, which added the city has gained a national and international reputation as the UK’s second city.
It said: “Following a long period of decline, Manchester’s city centre has undergone extensive redevelopment and regeneration over the past two decades, spurred on by the 1996 Real IRA bomb and the successful staging of the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The economy has also undergone significant restructuring.”
But it also highlighted ongoing challenges, such as pockets of deprivation and unemployment which remain in the city.
Liverpool also does well, with its Capital of Culture events and the opening of Liverpool One and the arena and convention centre all helping it to withstand recession by bringing in record levels of investment and visitors, the report said.
It argues that cities with the highest numbers of people with low or no skills that are faring the worst during the recession and Rochdale is highlighted as an area that has been hit particularly hard be the recession for this reason.
Alexandra Jones, associate director of The Work Foundation said: “Skills – or the knowledge, qualifications and competencies of the workforce – drive the success of individuals and cities. People with higher skills levels are more resilient to economic shocks and more able to take advantage of opportunities that arise while those with fewer or non-transferable skills are much more vulnerable and have access to far fewer opportunities. This effect is magnified in cities as low skilled cities find it harder to attract the knowledge based industries on which the recovery depends.”
Will Hutton, executive vice chair of The Work Foundation, added: “Many of the measures captured by this research could be strategically introduced at little cost and no change in legislation. Unless the government acts to give cities the powers they need, areas with low or no skills face a struggling cycle of decline long beyond the recession, making it much harder to bounce back in the future.”
Source: The Business Desk