Industrial Strategy and the Regions : the shortcomings of a narrow sectoral focus

FOTHERGILL, Stephen, GORE, Tony and WELLS, Peter (2017). Industrial Strategy and the Regions : the shortcomings of a narrow sectoral focus. Discussion Paper. Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Key points  - The new money that the UK government has allocated to support its industrial strategy is targeted at R&D in an exceptionally narrow range of sectors – healthcare & medicine, robotics & artificial intelligence, batteries, self-driving vehicles, materials for the future and satellites & space technology.  - Even on a generous definition of the industries that might benefit from the new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, these sectors account for little more than 1 per cent of the whole economy (by employment) and 10 per cent of UK manufacturing.  - The jobs in the sectors targeted by the Fund are highly unevenly spread across the country. The pattern is more complex than a simple North-South divide but a number of places in southern England have substantially more jobs in these sectors than industrial cities such as Bradford, Leicester, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Nottingham, Stoke and Swansea.  - The distribution across the country of research and development establishments – along with universities and R&D labs in large companies likely to be first in line for the new R&D funding – is particularly skewed in favour of an arc to the immediate north, west and south of London.  - Even excluding its famous university, the Cambridge area (population just 285,000) has twice as many jobs in scientific research and development establishments as the whole of the Midlands, more than Scotland and Wales combined, and only 2,000 fewer than the whole of the North of England (population 15.2 million).  - The report concludes that the government’s sectoral focus is exceptionally narrow – too narrow alone to provide a base on which to build a revival of British industry.  - The report also concludes that the government’s narrow sectoral focus threatens to widen regional divides. It is Cambridge, Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley, Hertfordshire and London itself that may gain most in the first instance.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Natural and Build Environment
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Depositing User: Tony Gore
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 11:43
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2021 11:31

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