Research into Nottingham's economy reveals city's strengths and weaknesses

Nottingham needs to increase its economic competitiveness and combat its lower than average skills base, according to new research into the city's economy by Nottingham Business School.

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Researchers examined data on Nottingham's economic performance
More needs to be done to create partnerships between Nottingham's 'anchor' institutions to build on the city's strengths.

Will Rossiter, head of the ESRB at Nottingham Business School

Nottingham needs to build strong partnerships, make the most of its assets and learn from the experiences of other cities in order to increase its economic competitiveness and combat its lower than average skills base, according to new research into the city's economy.

The research was jointly commissioned by the Nottingham Post and Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, and carried out by the Economic Strategy Research Bureau (ESRB), part of the Business School's Economics Division.

The findings formed the basis for the Nottingham Post's Great Nottingham Debate 2014, which was attended by 170 senior figures from city businesses and organisations, including leaders such as Ken Murphy, Managing Director, Health & Beauty International and Brands of Alliance Boots, Experian founder Sir John Peace, and the Chief Executives of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils.

Researchers examined data on Nottingham's economic performance in areas including employment, wages, skills and productivity, and compared performance to that of other cities in the UK and Europe.

Analysis showed that Nottingham City has one of the highest numbers of employed residents working in low skilled occupations out of the UK's ten Core Cities1, and the lowest number working in managerial and professional jobs, but the wider urban area of Greater Nottingham has a far more highly skilled and highly paid profile.

This means that enabling city centre residents to better access quality employment opportunities and better compete with skilled commuters from neighbouring areas is one of the key challenges facing Nottingham.

Will Rossiter, head of the ESRB at Nottingham Business School, said: "All Core Cities have been hit hard by recession, Nottingham included. But while Nottingham has maintained a stable rank within the Core Cities group, it has lost competitiveness relative to the UK. There are signs of recovery but unemployment remains well above pre-recession level, and Nottingham has challenges around the supply and demand for skills.

"More needs to be done to create partnerships between Nottingham's ‘anchor' institutions, like the universities, the NHS and major employers, to build on the city's strengths. We also need to look at how other cities have tackled economic challenges and learn from them.

"Perhaps one of the greatest opportunities for Nottingham could be the government promise of greater devolution. A Combined Authority sensitive to the city's needs could position themselves to take advantage of the new delegated powers and budgets that both Labour and the Coalition have offered."

The Great Nottingham Debate 2014 was held at Nottingham Conference Centre. Panel members included editor of the Nottingham Post, Mike Sassi; ESRB senior research fellow, Chris Lawton; ESRB Reader Will Rossiter; Nottingham Trent University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Edward Peck; Nottingham City Council Chief Executive, Ian Curryer; University of Nottingham Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chris Rudd; and Nottingham Post business editor, Richard Baker.

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    1Core Cities promote the role of cities in driving economic growth and the case for city devolution. It represents the councils of England's eight largest city economies outside London along with Glasgow and Cardiff.

Research into Nottingham's economy reveals city's strengths and weaknesses

Published on 16 December 2014
  • Category: Business; Press office; Research; Nottingham Business School

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