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Ipswich beats Norwich to be tipped to become one of the UK’s fastest growing economies after Brexit

PUBLISHED: 13:51 12 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:08 12 November 2018

Ipswich Town Centre.

Ipswich Town Centre.

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Ipswich is expected to have one of the fastest-growing city economies in the UK in the three months following the scheduled date for leaving the EU, according to a new report.

The UK Powerhouse report by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) predicts that Ipswich will see year-on-year growth of 1.6% in the 12 months to the second quarter of 2019.

Norwich narrowly missed out on a top 10 position, with its economy predicted to grow by 1.4% in the year to Q2 2019.

Pointing to the growth in economic hotspots, the report says many locations in the South and East have increasing amounts of highly skilled jobs in the technology and knowledge-based sectors.

It adds that work of this nature contributes much-needed research and innovation which drives productivity in competition with foreign goods.

These locations are also set to benefit from significant transport investment, such as the East-West rail link. This connection will make it far easier for labour across the region to travel with ease for employment and business reasons - particularly important when free movement of labour from the EU is curtailed.

It adds that because of the diversity in services offered across the Southern region, there are many examples that give reasons for optimism in its ability to adapt and respond to the changing nature of trade come March 2019.

Though an undisputed difficult time could arise in the short-term, the UK Powerhouse study states that the medium to long-term prospects are not all negative.

Catherine Johnson, chair of Suffolk Chamber in Greater Ipswich said that this survey, as with many before it in recent years, is “a welcome confirmation of Ipswich’s rise and rise.”

“Because of its growing presence in both established and new sectors, and the ongoing improvements to the town’s road and rail infrastructure, Ipswich and its hinterland is very much the place for businesspeople who want to succeed locally, nationally and globally,” she said.

Victoria Brackett, chief executive of Business Legal Services at Irwin Mitchell, said that the overall impacts of Brexit in the long term prove difficult to measure without clear guidelines and a deal in place.

“The UK will ultimately be responsible for managing and securing its own trade deals and though there are clear opportunities, these will have to be balanced alongside the short term risks which will be realised shortly after the UK’s official departure,” she said, adding: “One thing that the last decade has taught us is that despite the hugely disruptive force of the financial crisis, the UK economy has been incredibly resilient. It is vital that we tackle the challenges head on and take advantage of the new opportunities that emerge.

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