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EY UK Attractiveness Survey 2019: Economic disparity between the UK’s cities and towns deepens

EY’s regional UK Attractiveness Survey report, in association with the Centre For Towns, reveals the stark and deepening disparity of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the UK, with its largest cities attracting an ever-greater share of inward investment and little signs of spillover benefit for the areas surrounding them.

This joint report, which captures detailed analysis on where FDI has located across the UK’s cities, towns, communities and villages over the last twenty-one years, also points to a continued structural imbalance between London and the South East and the rest of the UK in terms of overseas investment inflows.

Key findings:

  • 59% of all FDI went to the 12 Core Cities in 2018 compared to less than a third (31%) in 1997
  • 20 years of static FDI leaves small and medium towns, and rural communities, falling way below the scale of investment across Core Cities
  • University and ex-industrial towns experience fall of 50% in number of manufacturing FDI projects in 2018
  • Need for UK policy-making to put towns and communities at the centre of the Industrial Strategy and deliver on infrastructure promises
Compliments of EY, a member of the EACCNY