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Boom predicted for Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes

The three cities of Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes are set to have the fastest growing economies in 2018, according to new research.

The latest edition of Irwin Mitchell’s UK Powerhouse report, which is produced by the law firm and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), predicts the growth corridor of the three cities will outperform both the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine regions this year.

The report estimates gross value added (GVA) growth and job creation for 45 of the UK’s largest cities over the year ahead.

According to the report, both Milton Keynes and Oxford are expected to grow at a rate of 2% annual in the final quarter of 2018.

The report also states that Cambridge continues to benefit from several industrial parks, which are leading in the way in fields such as wireless technology and mobile telecommunications.

Josie Dent from Cebr said the education sectors in both Oxford and Cambridge are ‘catalysts for economic growth’.

‘The universities in both cities also provide research and funding for the booming science, research and innovation sectors in the areas surrounding the cities,’ added Ms Dent.

‘As a result, employment in Cambridge and Oxford has increased by 18% and 14% respectively in the 10 years to Q3 in 2017.’

The report also looks at key economic indicators across the country across the last 12 months.

The UK economy grew at the slightly stronger rate of 0.4% in the third quarter of 2017, driven by increased household spending, the report states.

It also concluded the number of people aged 16 to 64 in work fell to 75% in the third quarter of 2017.

Cambridge moved from second place back to the top spot for economic growth in the third quarter of last year, growing 2.2% from the year before.

Hull, Derby and Sunderland showed impressive growth in the same quarter, compared to other cities and past performance

And in particular, manufacturers in Derby and Sunderland benefitted from the weak pound, growing the cities’ economies by 1.9% and 1.6%, respectively.

“The Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford arc is seen to have the potential to be the UK’s Silicon Valley and this latest report highlights its economic strength,’ said Irwin Mitchell partner, Victoria Brackett.

‘There is, of course, action that needs to be taken to ensure this location maximises its potential, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the need to generate growth in other areas.

‘Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes are expected to grow almost twice as fast in 2018 than cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham,’ added Ms Brackett.

‘Although the government acknowledges this is a problem, we need to see real action and investment in these areas.’

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