London vs Britain: The Widening Gap

London vs Britain: The Widening Gap

Written by on 6th March 2014
Category: London

This week, BBC 2’s documentary ‘Mind the Gap: London v the Rest’ explored the widening economic gap between the capital and the rest of the UK. London’s population is growing and by 2031 it’s estimated the population of London will have risen to 10 million. One fifth of UK GDP is now generated in the capital and it’s argued that London’s economic growth is polarising Britain.

Professionals are migrating to Britain’s capital for its career opportunities and business hubs are pulling in talent pools of specific skills. The Silicon Roundabout for example has attracted digital marketers and IT wizards into East London. Graduates in the UK make up 38 percent of the working population whilst in London they make up 58 percent, according to the documentary. They’re coming to the capital because simply, London is where the work is.  Between 2010 and 2012 four out of every five jobs created in the private sector were based in London.

Talent isn’t the only factor polarising Britain as London’s soaring housing market is too. It’s predicted the average house price in London will reach around £600,000 by 2018 which is 3.3 times the price in the north-east of England. High demand and low supply of property means house prices are becoming unaffordable for some and coinciding with this trend commuter travel has seen growth. Professionals are opting to travel further to work to get more for their money by living outside of London. Resources are being invested into infrastructure and transport routes to meet the increasing demand. Cross Rail and the controversial HS2 are just two rail projects in progress to connect London to other parts of the UK. Whilst the gap between London and the rest of the UK is widening, investment into transport infrastructure aims to keep London connected with the rest of Britain.

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