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Evaluation of the Main Achievements of Cohesion Policy Programmes over the Longer Term in 15 Selected Regions : Case Study North East England : From 1989-1993 Programme Period to the Present

Charles, David and Michie, Rona (2013) Evaluation of the Main Achievements of Cohesion Policy Programmes over the Longer Term in 15 Selected Regions : Case Study North East England : From 1989-1993 Programme Period to the Present. [Report]

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Abstract

Throughout recent decades the North East of England has been one of the poorest performing regions in the UK. The region’s problems are complex, multiple and integrated. At the heart of the problem has been insufficient jobs and low productivity, leading to low GDP, but this has been caused by the legacy of past sectoral development and decline, a heritage of employment in large-scale manufacturing and primary industries, low levels of entrepreneurship and low levels of innovation. Industrial restructuring created physical and territorial challenges in abandoned sites and communities, but also communities without the high level human capital needed for success in the knowledge economy. Over the 1989-2012 period, there was initially a continued weakness of the region with a reduction in competitiveness relative to the rest of the UK, as seen in a falling level of relative gross value added through the 1990s. However, the early 2000s were a period of moderate convergence, with the halting of the decline in relative GVA, growth in employment and numbers of SMEs and an improvement in other indicators such as R&D. However, the essential problems of the region remain largely unchanged, and the current financial crisis has shown the region's lack of resilience, but with some modest improvements in enterprise and innovation. This report presents the Pilot Case Study for North East England as part of the study ‘Evaluation of the Main Achievements of Cohesion Policy Programmes over the Longer Term in 15 Selected Regions (from 1989-1993 Programming Period to the Present)’ which has been managed by the European Policies Research Centre and London School of Economics. The research was conducted over the period December 2011 to May 2012.