Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Smarter approach needed to boost business activity

Government attempts to boost business activity in deprived areas have had disappointing results, according to a new report from a leading think tank. The Centre for Cities report by the Institute for Public Policy Research says instead of trying to boost enterprise in every deprived area - like Manchester, Leeds and Camden - future business-led regeneration programmes should focus on “business-deprived” areas, like Doncaster, St Helens and Sunderland. The report, which looks at deprived areas with very low levels of business activity, says that the five most business-deprived areas are in the North East – Easington, Wansbeck, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside and Derwentside. The report argues that areas like Doncaster, St. Helens and Sunderland could sustain more jobs and businesses, because they are well located, but says they need to overcome problems like the availability of business premises. However, areas like Easington have much wider problems caused by de-industrialisation and need to be reconnected to their regional economies rather than helped to encourage business start-ups. The report argues there is less need for new business activity in places like Lewisham and Greenwich because people have access to jobs in other areas of the capital. Dermot Finch, Director of the Centre for Cities said: “The Government needs a smarter approach to enterprise in deprived areas. There are currently too many different enterprise programmes in too many deprived areas, which are focused too much on creating new start-ups. “Our analysis shows that start-ups are not the answer for every deprived area. Business-deprived areas need more jobs rather than more start-ups. This report will help the Government target its cash on the business-deprived areas that can support new businesses and boost jobs over the long-term.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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