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Leeds judged better off than Manchester and Liverpool

New report claims city will recover from cuts quicker than local rivals

Published on January 25th 2011.


Leeds judged better off than Manchester and Liverpool

Leeds has been identified as one of the most economically resilient cities in the UK in a new report by think-tank Centre for Cities.

Although the city has been ‘overshadowed’ by Manchester in terms of publicity, it has a better prospect of creating private sector jobs in the near future.

But Liverpool has been picked out as one of five ‘vulnerable’ cities that will struggle to see their economies recover.

The Centre for Cities annual index, Cities Outlook 2011, claims Leeds, Milton Keynes, Reading, Aberdeen and Bristol stand the best chance of recovery from the government spending cuts.

Liverpool, Sunderland, Birkenhead, Swansea and Newport are the least likely to recover quickly due to low skill levels and a lack of business investment.

Cuts to the welfare bill will have a major impact on Northern cities. The report says that Liverpool currently spends the most on welfare - £2.5m or 28 per cent of its total budget. Manchester spends £5.2m (22 per cent) and Leeds dishes out £1.9m (18 per cent).

The cuts proposed by the coalition government will see Liverpool the most affected major city, equivalent to £192 per resident. In Manchester, that figure will be £167 per resident and in Leeds, the least affected major city, it will be £125.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of the Centre for Cities, said: "Buoyant cities like Leeds, which have been fast-growing and have lots of private-sector jobs, are best placed to lead the UK's recovery. It's time these places had new financial freedoms such as full control over the local business rate, and new powers to raise money. They could also benefit from having London-style mayors.

"During 2011, the UK cities most dependent on the public sector, and which have seen slower economic growth over the last decade, will find it more difficult to rebalance towards the private sector. These cities will need realistic plans of action to ride out the spending cuts and create jobs – but they will also need additional financial support from central government."

Claire Maugham, Centre for Cities' deputy chief executive, said: "Cities like Liverpool have one in five of the population with no formal qualifications. Whereas in Milton Keynes, one in three people have degrees, which is a spur to investment and people moving there."

“(Leeds) is in a region that has pockets of deprivation, such as Barnsley and Doncaster, and Leeds has largely been overshadowed by Manchester, which has done a better job of promoting itself. But Leeds is better placed in terms of creating private sector jobs in the future."

Manchester City Council is currently putting together a package to shed 2,000 jobs as it seeks to make savings of more than £100m in the next year.

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Paul ClarkeJanuary 25th 2011.

Who cares...Leeds is a tedious dump compared to Mancunia.

I should know as I have to work here every day.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2011.

This news is hardly surprising to anyone who knows all 3 cities well, and I do.

Manchester and Liverpool are worse in every way compared to Leeds. They are bigger, more derelict and run down, and have worse schools. Their poorly educated people have become over-reliant on public sector non-jobs and benefits. Look at the pathetic way that Manchester seems so proud to have attracted the BBC to Salford Quays when the move is just a typical government instigated shift of public sector jobs from the affluent south east to a depressed area.

Leeds is no paradise but compared to the two biggest dumps in England, Manchester and Liverpool, it is quite a nice place.

By the way I'm from Manchester and like living here, but I do get tired of the delusions some people have about the place being modern and prosperous.

sagesseJanuary 25th 2011.

The above comment is not true for Liverpool which is just a stunning place these days with many world class attractions and a sense of direction. Manchester has suffered from the poor leadership of Howard Bernstein which is why, an office block was built on Piccadilly Gardens, there is still no modern art gallery or catholic cathedral and Urbis is now a football museum when it already has that stereotype. Even the iconic Cornerhouse is being moved to a business park and the Library Theatre won't be in a library any more. This is bad leadership and unfortunately Manchester is not in the same league as Liverpool.

Yeah RightJanuary 25th 2011.

SAGESSE, I think you've been watching BBC North West Tonight a bit too much!!

CAPTAIN SENSIBLEJanuary 26th 2011.

We have to manufacurte again, shuffling tax payers money around institutions like the BBC and Manchester city council does NOT create jobs and prosperity .

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2011.

Some rather disingenuous comments in the article since the area used to define both cities for the purposes of the report (Primary Urban Area - PUA) is significantly larger for Manchester and takes in a much greater proportion of post-industrial inner city areas. By comparison Leeds is much more rural in nature, less urbanised, smaller city so naturally deprivation will look less pronounced. If you read the report in more detail it is rightly bracketed with places like Reading and Aberdeen.

A more meaningful comparison would be of the two cities respective city-regions which in the case of Manchester takes in parts of Cheshire, Warrington and High Peak and in the case of Leeds takes in places like Barnsley, Wakefield, York etc. It is well established that Manchester has the largest travel-to-work area of all Core Cities and that in terms of measures of output and productivity it is the most important city-region economy outside London.

The disingenuous comments I refer to come from the Centre for Cities deputy Chief Executive who cities Barnsley as an area of deprivation within Leeds yet neither Barnsley, Wakefield nor Doncaster form part of Leeds' PUA statistics which were used in the report. In other words she is making a false assertion.

AnonymousApril 26th 2011.

Just because Leeds has more rural areas does not mean it is more affluent. Leeds is bigger than both Liverpool and Manchester; and the 'rural areas' of the city include many poor ex-mining areas. Im originally from London and have lived in both leeds and manchester and must say that affluence is much more apparent in Leeds; especially in the city centre. I think Leeds will bounce back from the recession much better than Manchester and Liverpool simply because it can attract people from all over the country for the better quality of life it can provide compared to other nothern cities. Especially Manchester which is one of the biggest s**tholes iv've ever been to!

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