North South Divide..More Than Just Education

The Sutton Trust study into University Chances By Individual School shows a clear divide between the South East and the rest of the UK on how pupils progress through the education system. I think this is all part of a much larger problem between the North-South divide in England which has widened over time.

The Government is investing in 2 enterprise zones in Yorkshire in Leeds & Sheffield areas. The enterprise zones bring great benefits to the specific sites including

  • Simplified Planning
  • Best Telecommunications Available
  • Up To £275,000 Rate Discount Over 5 Years
  • Rate Increases Go To Local Authority

Personally I see this as a good thing to bring new business in to the area, it isn’t the best option as the North South divide will continue. Any larger company that locates to these areas will more than likely have ownership in the SE still. So the general workers will continue to be employed and the divide continues.

How has this come about though? In my mind I think it is the Northern attitude that needs to adjust. I know a lot of small business owners, in fact I am one myself and was brought up by parents who were self employed so I have the small business attitude instilled in me from a young age. There seems to be no end of people setting up small businesses in Yorkshire, however there doesn’t seem to be many that want to take the jump into expanding their small business into a larger enterprise. My father always said that he didn’t want to employ anyone, and so didn’t, he always said it was too much of a hassle on top of the large cost increase. This was after employing someone he stated this. I know this is a very small sample here of only one, but I experience it throughout the industry I work in that many people will quite happily turn away work as long as their small company has enough to ‘do alright’.

In my mind there needs to be a focus of energies throughout the UK to get those small businesses to develop into a medium enterprise. It is a big step for someone to move to larger premises and have the scope to expand their company. I have no doubt that the vast number of small businesses I meet and know throughout the region could take their business further by expanding their scope and adding that bit of risk. I have just mentioned a key point though, risk. It is a risk for a company to invest money in expansion if it doesn’t work. I think there needs to be more support from local authorities and government into how they can help the vast array of small businesses develop into sustainable medium enterprises or further.

I hope the enterprise zones will be used by companies on the way up, and not just a company locating into the area. I want to see more though.


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