City in euro crisis firing line – report

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MILTON Keynes economy is at risk from possible fallout from the crisis engulfing the eurozone, according to a new report.

But the Centre for Cities Open for Business research into resilience also states that the new city has the enterprise and business start-up growth to soften the blow.

Some 3.2 per cent of the firms in Milton Keynes are owned by eurozone-owned businesses, the highest of the 10 cities studied in the research sponsored by ICAEW. They argue that this means Milton Keynes is among the most exposed to problems.

The report authors say: “This is likely to have brought great benefits to cities in the past. But as the crisis deepens some places may face greater challenges than others.”

But the Centre for Cities’ think-tank authors add: “Unlike the others though, Milton Keynes also benefits from strong levels of domestic enterprise which could help to counteract any fall out from the Eurozone crisis..”

Milton Keynes had 50.1 business start ups per 10,000 population in 2010, way ahead of the other cities. And also it had 362.7 total businesses per 10,000 population, also way ahead of the rest.

The report calls on national and local government to take a more tailored approach to enterprise policy to support home-grown entrepreneurship at a time of economic uncertainty.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities said: “The return of the UK economy into recession means that a mix of businesses in cities – both home grown and foreign owned – is essential for growth. National government and cities need to continue to invest in the simple things that make a big difference to business: improving transport and skills and making the planning process more responsive to business needs.

Clive Lewis, ICAEW head of enterprise, added: “This research highlights the importance of local enterprise to a city economy. With more UK competition, new markets will be the key to growth to many businesses up and down the country.”