North-South divide widens

A new report paints a bleak economic picture for North East towns and cities. The Cities Outlook says Sunderland has the lowest number of businesses in the UK, Newcastle and Middlesbrough are also in the bottom ten. London has seen strong growth.

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"They cannot set the whole of the North of England to one side"

Cities like Sunderland have some of the worst economies in Britain because the government is 'setting the North East to one side' and not giving it a voice - that is the accusation from the Newcastle MP Nick Brown.

It comes as a new report showed how the gap between our region and London continues to grow.

Sunderland and Middlesborough came bottom of the league table by the Centre for Cities when it comes to jobs and businesses.

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Glimmers of hope for Newcastle and Sunderland

A new report shows that the gap between London and other UK cities is widening. The picture is particularly gloomy for North East cities. Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesbrough are in the bottom 10 for the lowest number of businesses.

There is some good news however, Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities, says Newcastle is one of only two areas of the country to see wages rise.

Gap growing with London

Cities Outlook 2014 shows that that the gap between London and other UK cities is widening and we are failing to make the most of cities' economic potential. Devolving more funding and powers to UK cities - London and others - so they can generate more of their own income and play to their different strengths will be critical to ensuring this is a sustainable, job-rich recovery.

– Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities

Bleak outlook for North East economy, says think-tank

The report says cities like Sunderland are being left behind Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Sunderland has the lowest number of businesses of any city in the UK. That is according to the latest study from the economic Think Tank, Centre for Cities.

The organisation describes its yearly report as 'an annual health check of UK cities'.

It warns that economic recovery in London is widening the gap between the capital and elsewhere. While highlighting Sunderland, the report also puts Newcastle and Middlesbrough among the ten UK cities with the lowest number of businesses.

The Chief Executive of Centre for Cities, Alexandra Jones says:

"Cities Outlook 2014 shows that the gap between London and other UK cities is widening and we are failing to make the most of cities' economic potential."

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