Creating hubs across the UK to ‘drive innovation and growth through collaboration’ should be the top priority for the next Government, according to Northern entrepreneurs.
An EY survey of 32 leaders at high growth entrepreneurial businesses based across the North West, the North East and Yorkshire – who are all alumni of the firm’s Entrepreneur Of The Year awards programme – found that 38 per cent of respondents put the creation of hubs at the top of their wish lists for the next administration.
The results for Northern leaders come in contrast to those for entrepreneurs surveyed nationwide, 21 per cent of whom place a reduction in the levels of corporation tax as the top priority for the next government, followed by 14 per cent who rate an extension to tax relief measures as the second most important issue.
EY surveyed 150 entrepreneurial business leaders across the UK, asking them to select and rank in order of importance the areas that they believe the next Government should prioritise to fuel growth.
Stuart Watson, Yorkshire and Humber senior partner at EY, said: “Dynamic entrepreneurs help to create jobs and growth. Delivering a supportive environment that allows them to fulfil their vision can create more confidence in the market and strengthen our economy.
“We saw new and extended Enterprise Zones introduced in the recent Budget, and the results of our survey suggest that Northern entrepreneurs see hubs as a crucial way to foster growth and innovation across the UK.
“Potentially supported by newly developed infrastructure and increased local decision making powers, industry hubs could prove to be an important ingredient in balancing the UK economy and perhaps boosting the competitiveness of the North in the long-term.
“History has shown us that investment in hubs can help to support growth of specific industries and their supply chains.
“The financial services sector in the Docklands area of London is the ultimate example of incentives, infrastructure and the regulatory environment coming together to form a self-reinforcing cluster, which has further strengthened London’s position as a world force in financial services.
“MediaCityUK in Salford, the offshore industry in the North East and the Humber Enterprise Zone in Yorkshire are just some examples of emerging, successful hubs in the North of England.
“To create effective clusters which drive growth and innovation in the UK, the next Government will need to take a long-term view.
“It could mean identifying the sectors where the economy can benefit most, creating the most attractive packages of measures and conditions to enable enterprises to thrive, and then investing to lay the foundations to support these hubs’ development over a number of years.”