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MPA calls for more balanced development and growth

MPA chart

Association reveals concrete evidence that economic recovery has by-passed most of UK beyond London

NEW analysis from the Mineral Products Association (MPA) provides hard evidence that the economic recovery from the 2008/9 recession has had too little impact beyond London and largely by-passed the rest of Britain.

The MPA highlights the unbalanced growth across Great Britain since the 2008/9 recession by using ready-mixed concrete sales volumes as a proxy for construction, which in turn reflects regional development and growth.


MPA data, based on sales records from more than 700 production sites across Great Britain, show that while the London market is now 45% higher than pre-recession, in every other region sales volumes remain at least 20% lower, illustrating the extent to which recovery has been skewed towards London (see chart indicating changes in regional sales of ready-mixed concrete between 2007 and the year to Q2 2016). 

Jerry McLaughlin, director of economics and public policy at the MPA, said: ‘The MPA data highlights the need for more balanced development and growth across the country. In the Autumn Statement on 23 November, the Chancellor will set out how government plans to respond to the economic challenges created by the EU referendum vote and wider global economic concerns.

‘It is clear from the experience of recent years that there has to be a more balanced regional distribution of the benefits of growth than we have seen since 2009. Policies in the Autumn Statement, and notably the implementation of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, must reflect this.

‘Clearly there are wider social and political issues arising from the disparity between London and the rest of the country, and there needs to be evidence that initiatives such as elected Mayors and Combined Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse have sufficient powers and resources to make a real difference.

‘A more strategic approach is needed to avoid further fragmentation and confusion about where power actually lies in the regions and to encourage business investment. A good start might be to recognize that,’ said Mr McLaughlin.


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