A recent report shows that the North of England, the Midlands, South West, Wales and Northern Ireland get £4 billion less altogether than other regions every year.
Furthermore, the private sector would usually match the funding, therefore taking the gap to £8 billion.
These areas are still recovering from deindustrialisation, and suffer from ‘weak innovation systems’, the report adds.
Researchers are calling on government to increase investment in research and development including redirecting a quarter of this increase to create ‘innovation districts’ in regional economies, in order to close the gaps between regions, using the post-pandemic recovery to embed this into policy.
‘Place-blind’ investment policies have previously failed to address the inequalities between parts of the UK. Currently, London, the east, and south east are getting 46 percent of funding from government and charitable organisations despite only representing around a fifth (21 percent) of the population.
This has implications for the regions since jobs in industries well supported by research and development are usually better paid.
The New Statesman - Gaps in R&D spend fuel UK regional divides, report says
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