Derby has overtaken Nottingham to become the fastest growing economy in East Midlands – and it is set to keep on growing.
The latest UK Powerhouse Report, produced by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Business and Economic Research (Cebr), said that Derby’s output during the first three months of this year was 2.3% higher compared to the same period a year ago.
In comparison, Nottingham’s economy grew by 2.2% while Leicester posted annual growth of 1.9%.
The report provides a quarterly estimate of GVA, which is the value of goods and services, across 38 of the UK’s largest cities.
The study also looks at job creation – and while the report said that while Nottingham was one of the top performers across the UK in terms of creating jobs, it said that Derby had benefited from “exposure to international markets”.
According to the “league table” of cities produced by researchers, Derby has the 10th fastest-growing economy in the UK. Nottingham is 14th and Leicester 37th. The table is led by Cambridge, followed by Milton Keynes.
Derby train-maker Bombardier recently won a major contract to build carriages for the South West Trains franchise.
Since the start of the year there have been a number of positive announcements made by Derby’s global manufacturers. Toyota said it is investing £240 million in its Burnaston plant, Rolls-Royce is spending £90 million on a new test bed at Derby and train-maker Bombardier has won a £900 million contract from South West Trains.
The report said: “The strength in global trade may help support jobs growth in a number of high exporting cities.
“UK cities with notable exposure to international markets, such as Hull, Derby and Coventry, are likely to profit from strong demand over the year.
“Derby’s well-performing manufacturing sector is likely to continue delivering jobs, with train maker Bombardier recently signing a contract which will create 2,500 jobs in the city by 2020.”
The report also noted the contribution made to Derby’s economy by Toyota.
It said: “Many cities in the Midlands, the heartland of British automotive manufacturing, saw robust growth in early 2017.
“Over 820,000 new cars were registered over Q1, a record 6.2% year-on-year rise, although the Q1 figures were partially distorted by buyers rushing to buy vehicles to avoid tax rises in April.
“Manufacturers in the Midlands, including Toyota in Derby and Jaguar Land Rover in Birmingham, have benefitted from such demand.
Toyota makes the Auris and Avensis models at its Burnaston factory
“It could be another strong year in 2017, although there are long-term concerns around losing access to the EU market.”
In terms of the future, the picture looks even rosier for Derby. Looking ahead to 2027, the report currently says Derby will have the fastest growing city economy across the East Midlands over the next decade with GVA increasing by 15.1%.
In comparison, Nottingham’s economy is expected to grow by 14.7% and Leicester’s economy is predicted to be 12.9% larger in 10 years’ time.
Jack Coy, an economist at Cebr, said: “Despite the UK-level economic slowdown over the first quarter, it is good to see some bright sparks in local economies across the country.
“In particular, the best performing cities have benefited from a combination of cutting-edge, productive industries and high-skilled workforces.”
Source: Derby Telegraph