Published: 29th Mar 2012

As England’s regional development agencies close their doors for the last time, is it time to shift our focus away from regional inequalities and the north/south divide and towards an equitable vision for all places in the UK? Clare Goff reports When the regional development agencies opened their doors in 1998, England was a polarised country. GDP levels in London and in the southeast were the highest in the country – at £16,200 per head and £14,500 per head – while in the north-east of England GDP stood at £9,800 per head (ONS). The gap between unemployment rates in the north and south in 1999 was over 3.5%. A key aim of the RDAs was to reduce such gaps, to help the north, still suffering from the decline of its industrial base, to catch up. But, as RDAs close their doors for the final time at the end of this … (To read the full article, subscribe below)