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Merseyside The Fastest Grower In A Strong Year For The Major City Economies Of The UK

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Using GVA per head as a measure for economic output, Merseyside grew the fastest of any other major city in 2015. However, every city except London is still worse off than before the crisis, which highlights the challenges facing Britain’s new Metro Mayors, according to the Resolution Foundation in response to the latest ONS regional GVA figures.

Resolution Foundation analysis of the latest figures finds that while the UK’s GVA performance was relatively weak in 2015 (1.7 per cent) compared to previous years (3.7 per cent in 2014 and 3 per cent in 2013), economic growth across the major cities was more impressive at 2.3 per cent.

Liverpool city region (Liverpool and Merseyside) experienced the fastest growth across 2015 at 3 per cent, followed by Belfast (also 3 per cent and Greater Manchester (2.9 per cent). Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire experienced the slowest growth of any major city region at 1.6 per cent.

However, the Foundation notes that London remains the only major city in the UK to have a higher GVA compared to before the crisis, despite a relatively poor 2015.

While London is on average £1,270 better off, the rest of the UK city regions are £900 worse off, while the UK as a whole is £450 worse off. Cardiff (-£3,530) and Belfast (-£2,510) are furthest from their pre-crisis GVA levels.

Closing these economic output gaps will be a key task for the first generation of Metro Mayors, who will be elected next May as the UK starts an exciting new phase of devolution.

Stephen Clarke, Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said:
“While 2015 was a relatively weak year for growth in economic output across the UK as a whole, Britain’s major cities performed strongly, especially in the North West.

“Merseyside led the way on GVA last year, growing by 3 per cent, with Greater Manchester not far behind. This strong growth provides a good building block for their new city mayors to build on next year.

“But despite this impressive recent growth, all major cities bar London are still worse off than they were before the crisis. Closing the economic output gap between the capital and Britain’s other major cities will play a central role in delivering economic growth throughout the UK over the next decade.

“As we embark on an exciting new era of devolution next year, setting cities on a course for stronger, shared growth should be a key challenge for Britain’s soon-to-be-elected Metro Mayors.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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