York has a vital role to play in the progression of the Northern Powerhouse

With one of the strongest economies in the north of England, and as a key part of the UK’s Northern Powerhouse, York is a flourishing and ambitious city which is home to businesses of all shapes and sizes that support more than 114,000 jobs and contribute around £5bn of value to the national economy.

Many of those businesses are SMEs, and as this years Top 50 league table of North Yorkshire’s most profitable SMEs reveals, the majority (26) are based in York.

York-based hotel group, Queens Staith Leisure take second place in this years’ table, with two other prominent York businesses – development company S Harrison and housebuilders and development company Daniel Gath Homes – also making it into the top ten.

It is clear that all the York based businesses that feature in the table have benefited from the city’s unique offering and diverse and resilient economy, and that its assets and opportunities are truly first class.

With a highly skilled population, world-class universities, excellent transport links, pronounced strengths in a range of sectors, a pioneering digital infrastructure, outstanding business support networks and an unrivalled quality of life, York is an incredibly successful place to work, live and do business.

Moving forward, York has a vital role to play in the progression of the Northern Powerhouse and as the first report from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership has revealed, good progress is being been made, with proposals to better connect the cities and counties of the north and devolve more power to city regions, but there are more steps that need to be taken.

The report suggests that if its proposals are implemented, the northern economy has the potential to benefit from an additional £100 billion gross value added over the next three decades and approximately 850,000 jobs could be created. With 90 leading organisations actively backing the initiative, we are getting closer to securing the economic future of York and the north for many years to come.

Organisations like Make it York are working hard to harness the value of the Government’s investment via the Northern Powerhouse for the region, and more and more York businesses are pooling their strengths to drive productivity and growth which is all very positive. With better infrastructure, investment and support the north can become a global economic heavyweight, which is a very exciting prospect that all the businesses in the table can very much play a part in.

Also, as York Central (York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP), is now one of three new enterprise zones to just go live, this will boost further economic growth in the region. The enterprise zones are designated areas that provide business rate discounts and additional tax breaks, backed by a simplified local planning process, alongside Government support to encourage business growth. There are therefore plenty of reasons for businesses to continue to thrive as the new zone will help to attract both new jobs and further investment.

Jane Marshall, partner at BHP Chartered Accountants.