Miranda Dobson

Growth industries have created 63,000 North West jobs

Growth sectors in the North West have created 63,000 jobs since the financial crash in 2008, according to statistics from The North West Fund.

Industries with high-growth rates, such as energy, life sciences, digital and creative, have all significantly contributed to this increase in jobs.

Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and gathered by The North West Fund has shown a 52% rise in the number of jobs in electricity, gas, steam, water supply, sewerage and waste management between December 2008 and December 2012.

Within information and communications, including the digital and creative sectors, the number of positions rose by 16% over the same period, while 36,000 new roles were created in professional, scientific and technical business, up 17%.

Overall, these sectors offered a 19% rise in the number of jobs in the North West between the end of 2008 and September last year.

The North West Fund, which is an evergreen fund dedicated to growth in the region, said it has helped boost the number of SMEs in the region after investing more than £48m to over 160 firms.

Cliff Maylor, chief executive of North West Business Finance, which manages The North West Fund, said: “These statistics are encouraging and show the North West is performing well in the kind of sectors that are vital for future prosperity.

“Industries like life sciences, digital and creative and energy create well-paid jobs and add a significant amount of value to the region’s economy.

Businesses helped by The North West Fund include EcoLogicLiving, a Carlisle-based renewable energy firm which won £500,000 in May last year, and Lancaster-based web developer Azullo, which secured a number of investments from the Digital and Creative Fund.

Mr Maylor added: “Through our Funds, we are seeing first-hand the type of superb businesses that are creating these jobs.

“They are innovative and experts in what they do and because they operate in specialist sectors, they are more likely to export, bringing more investment into the North West.

“There is every reason to be confident that by supporting these key sectors we will help ensure the North West is in a strong position as the UK returns to growth.”

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