Companies in the North of England are now growing at the fastest pace seen in any UK region, one of the country’s leading business figures has said, in a sign that the economic recovery is broadening.
Ian Powell, the chairman of top-four accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) told The Telegraph that the firm's regional offices in the North have experienced double-digit growth over the last year with a marked upswing in deals and a rise jobs.
“We see significant potential right across the UK with businesses of all sizes showing signs of increased confidence,” said Mr Powell. “UK regions are growing, with the North performing particularly strongly, and from our experience, the retail and manufacturing sectors being most active.”
Mr Powell attributed the growth on the commercial reinvention of major regional centres and the development of advanced manufacturing to replace traditional industries.
“Manufacturing and speciality engineering are undoubtedly enjoying a resurgence in Yorkshire and the North East. Onshoring processes which had previously been taken offshore, investing in capital and skills training - including apprenticeships - and a focus on exports are all features we are seeing,” said Mr Powell, who singled out Manchester, Leeds and Newcastles as cities where companies are experiencing rapid growth.