Thursday 7 March 2024

Boosting prosperity across Britain

How cities like Bristol can help to end economic stagnation

This event was in Bristol.

A toxic combination of 15 years of low growth, and four decades of high inequality, has left Britain poorer and falling behind its peers. Wages today are no higher than they were before the financial crisis, and England’s biggest cities beyond London all have productivity levels below the national average. Britain needs a new economic strategy to lift itself out of stagnation.

In many ways, Bristol reflects the challenges facing the country as a whole. It has long been a hub for high-value aerospace manufacturing and also has considerable strengths in services, including education, creative industries and green technology. But it also faces considerable challenges – from poor public transport to high housing costs – that limits growth and reduces living standards. Harnessing the city’s many strengths will be critical to meeting the economic challenges of the coming years, but Bristol won’t truly thrive unless all its citizens benefit from growth and investment.

The Budget on 6th March will be the Government’s last chance to shape the economic agenda before the next election – and rise to the challenge of boosting prosperity.

What should a new national economic strategy for Britain include? How will economic change affect the jobs we do, the places we live and the businesses we work for? What are the prospects for cities like Bristol in rising to these daunting but reachable challenges? And has the Budget helped or hindered Britain’s economic prospects?

The Resolution Foundation is hosting this event in collaboration with Bristol Ideas and Business West to debate Britain’s future economic strategy, building on the analysis of The Economy 2030 Inquiry – a three-year collaboration between the Resolution Foundation and the LSE, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. We will be joined by leading experts from policy and business in the region to discuss how different areas of the UK – particularly in Bristol and the South West – can secure widely shared prosperity.