A recent BBC documentary series by Evan DaviesMind the Gap: London vs the rest – looked at the cultural and economic divide between London and the rest of the UK. Many LARIA members will have followed the discussion with interest as it cuts to the heart of many of the challenges we are facing at a local level. In particular how do we provide the evidence needed to drive economic growth. Key questions discussed subsequently online include:

  1. Should Hebden Bridge be the UK’s second city?
  2. Is closing the gap essential if we want a truly United Kingdom?
  3. Were the five main insights, including the impact of agglomeration, actually overstretching the point?
  4. Was the programme just lazy sterotyping of a “north” past it’s hayday?
  5. Have we a national policy regime that not only does not mind the gap, it extends it?
  6. Should Salford and Trafford call themselves Manchester?

Did you see the show? What do you think of the central argument? What evidence do LARIA members have that either confirm or disprove this argument? How can we help drive economic growth across all parts of the country?

Photo credit: Mind the Gap by Raghavvidya