The Power of 8: value to economy more than entire Premier League

The value to the economy of the N8, the eight most research-intensive universities in the North, is almost double that of the entire Premier League, a report reveals today.

The N8 universities - Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York - contribute £6.6bn of GVA (gross value added) to the Northern economy per year.

They attracted £1.26bn of research funding per annum, of which £127m - some 13% - came from the European Union. 

Together, the universities also generated a total of 119,000 FTE jobs - equivalent to all the jobs within a city the size of Salford.

The findings build on a specially commissioned report in November 2015, which captured the scale of the University of Leeds’ £1.3bn contribution to the UK economy.

 Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands said: “Leeds’ success in bringing hundreds of millions of pounds of research funding to the north of England as part of the N8 has strengthened the region and our sector as a whole.

“The announcement this month of our £40m Nexus centre to support innovative new private sector companies, giving them access to our world-leading researchers, is a strong indicator of how we use our expertise to benefit new and growing businesses.”

The new report launched today – Power of 8 – has now led to new calls on Prime Minister Theresa May to accelerate the Government’s plans by increasing investment in infrastructure and innovation in the North.

The report has been endorsed by Former Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Lord Heseltine who, writing in it, says the findings show that the research-intensive universities of N8 can be at the forefront of a rejuvenated Northern economy, and play a central role in strengthening and stabilising industries through new ideas, innovations and insights.

As the devolution of important powers to cities and regions moves forward, partnerships between cities and universities can provide a clear voice of leadership and ideas, and can create a high-skill, innovation-driven future.

He continued: “I believe and expect the N8 universities, working individually and together, to be at the forefront of a rejuvenated Northern economy.”

Key findings

The report also highlights the role played by the N8 universities in helping to establish new businesses, the commercialisation of innovation, and the development of the next generation of entrepreneurs. Their economic activity is worth a total of £12.2bn to the Northern economy.

Other findings include:

· N8 universities attract annual research income of £1.26bn, 88% of all Northern Higher Education research income

· N8 universities contribute a larger share of North of England Region GVA than the entire Northern media Industry, agriculture, or motor vehicle manufacturing, sectors

· N8 universities provide consultancy services to more than 17,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)

· The N8 universities have a 10-year track record of successfully collaborating across the region

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