Experts say Norwich's economy will grow faster than most other UK cities in 2018

PUBLISHED: 07:56 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 07:56 02 January 2018

The John Innes Centre. Picture: Antony Kelly

The John Innes Centre. Picture: Antony Kelly

Archant Norfolk 2016

The outlook for Norwich's economy in 2018 is bright, experts say, as figures predict a bumper year.

Nova Fairbank, of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture SubmittedNova Fairbank, of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture Submitted

A new study says the level of growth in the city’s economic output over the coming months is likely to put it in the top 10 fastest-growing places in the UK.

The UK Powerhouse Report, by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, says Norwich’s gross value added (GVA) - the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area - is predicted to grow by 1.62pc over 2018.

The figure puts the fine city joint eighth - with Portsmouth - of the 45 settlements in the table.

In October, a similar report put the city’s GVA at £2.8bn and said 136,800 people were in work.

Industry leaders in Norfolk say the news does not come as a surprise - and is a reflection of its strong sectors.

MORE: Norwich is growing faster than London, Manchester and Birmingham (but not Ipswich)

Nova Fairbank, public affairs manager the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “Norwich’s strength is its dynamic and diverse business community - which enables it to weather the challenges of the current economic climate.

“With strong emerging sectors such as digital/ICT and innovations in food science and agri-tech, as well as the more traditional sectors such as professional services and insurance, our region clearly has the potential to increase economic growth and create more jobs.”

In the most recent table, Cambridge nabbed the top spot, with a predicted GVA growth of 2.19pc, while Ipswich came in fourth, with a forecast growth of 1.75pc.

The positive news comes after an already strong 2017 for the city. The October report showed that Norwich was among just a handful of cities to grow its GVA by 2pc year on year.

At the time, and referring to Norwich, Cambridge and Ipswich, the report said it was no surprise that cities from the eastern region had performed well, with the area being “renowned for its contributions to life sciences”.

At the bottom of the latest table was Middlesborough, where GVA is forecast to grow by 0.6pc.

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