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East Midlands To Make Big Economic Strides By The End Of 2021 Says Report

East Midlands To Make Big Economic Strides By The End Of 2021 Says Report

Leicester will have the East Midland’s fastest growing economy by the end of this year, but according to a new report published today, employment levels will compare less favourably to Derby and Nottingham with 7,400 jobs expected to be lost across the city.


The latest UK Powerhouse study by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), has revealed mixed fortunes in terms of GVA*and employment levels for the 50 largest towns and cities in the UK** due to coronavirus and Brexit uncertainty.

By the end of 2021, Leicester’s economy is expected to grow by £500m, taking the total value to £7.9bn due to an annual 6.9% increase in GVA. Derby’s economy will grow by 6.5% to £6.8bn and Nottingham by 6.3% to £9.6bn.

Although all economic restrictions are planned to be lifted by Q4 2021, UK Powerhouse expects only 36% of the towns and cities in the report to increase employment levels during the year to Q4 2021.

All of the major cities in the East Midlands are predicted to see headcount reductions with Derby seeing employment levels dip by -0.6% and Nottingham’s fall being -1.3% and Leicester near the bottom of the league table with a 3.5% fall in jobs.

Following the report’s analysis, it makes a series of recommendations to tackle the current difficulties faced by businesses in the region. In summary, these are:

  • Businesses need to take advantage of policies to encourage investment and improve skills.
  • Local governments should have bespoke plans in place to support job creation heading out of the Covid-19 crisis, when the furlough scheme ends.
  • The UK Government needs to prioritise the implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement with as little disruption as possible to businesses and negotiate where possible to reach a smoother trading relationship with the EU.

Vicky Brackett, CEO of Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services division, said:

“This report shows the huge challenges faced by UK businesses as result of Brexit uncertainty and Covid-19 lockdowns.

“Large volume of UK businesses, including those in the East Midlands, have revenues stemming from services exports, which are not covered by the free trade agreement with the EU. Furthermore, there is a significant proportion of businesses which trade with the EU specifically either in goods or services, which has been disrupted by Brexit border frictions. Therefore, further negotiations between the UK and EU are crucial for sustaining business activity across all UK regions.”

Josie Dent, Managing Economist at Cebr and report author, said: 

“The impacts of the pandemic have not been equal across the country. Cities with large hospitality and entertainment industries have been hit hard by forced closures amid lockdowns and could face additional difficulties with the end of the furlough scheme in September.”

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