Harrogate District and Wetherby at heart of UK’s fastest economic recovery from Covid - data

The local economy is forecast to bounce back quickly over the next three years following the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report from multinational professional services firm EY.

By John Grainger
Monday, 7th February 2022, 2:08 pm
Harrogate firm Techbuyer is one of dozens of tech companies across the region whose success has underpinned the positive economic outlook. PHOTO: Gary Longbottom.
Harrogate firm Techbuyer is one of dozens of tech companies across the region whose success has underpinned the positive economic outlook. PHOTO: Gary Longbottom.

In its latest Regional Economic Forecast, the company said the Harrogate District and Leeds local authority area, which includes Wetherby, would both register annual GVA (Gross Value Added) growth of 2.7 per cent between 2022-25. The outlook is underpinned by gains in the administrative and support service and professional, scientific and technical sectors.

The report also said that Yorkshire and the Humber’s economy was the least affected by the initial economic impact of the pandemic. By the end of 2021, the region’s economy, measured by GVA – which calculates the value of goods and services produced – had recovered to 98.8 per cent of its 2019 size, making it the UK’s fastest regional recovery. By contrast, the UK’s GVA had recovered to 97 per cent of its pre-pandemic size.

The figures coincide with another new analysis this week which shows that the number of businesses in North Yorkshire reached a record high during 2021 – despite the continuing challenges posed by the pandemic.

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Harrogate formed the third-highest number of new businesses (1,271), after Middlesbrough (1,328) and York (1,318), according to software firm Inform Direct, which analysed data from Companies House and the ONS.

According to the EY report, employment across Yorkshire and the Humber is forecast to rise by 0.8 per cent each year between 2022-2025, the second-lowest rate in the UK, behind only the North East (0.7 per cent). By contrast, employment in London is forecast to see the largest increase (1.3 per cent).

Suzanne Robinson, EY’s managing partner for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “It is promising to see Yorkshire and the Humber’s economy proved so durable during the pandemic, supported by a combination of the region’s resilient manufacturing sector and robust growth in health-related services.”

But she warned: “Across the country, action is needed to ensure the recovery is balanced. It’s important other parts of the country are not left behind London once again, and steps are taken to combat inequality – both between regions and within them.”