Phil MeekinView Profile
As fashion brand Burberry announces plans to move 300 jobs from its London office to Leeds, it has drawn attention to the clear pull of the North for a number of UK businesses currently. Burberry said that their plans to relocate these jobs were as part of cost-saving measures which they hope will save them £100m.
Burberry have described their relocation as an important move which will bring together teams from finance, HR, procurement, customer services and IT at its new facility in West Yorkshire. This sort of move away from London to the North of England is becoming more and more common and has been coined as ‘North-Shoring’.
Initially used by consultant Robert Gogel, North-Shoring is described as moving work from the South to the North in an effort to save money on operational costs and maximise the money the company currently has available.
Many businesses are now moving their operations north where labour and accommodation is cheaper. For the UK economy, it is a great alternative to off-shoring business operations which takes valuable jobs and business deals abroad. For the Northern Powerhouse, it proves to be a great step to making the scheme a success whilst also improving the economy and outlook for many of the UK’s major Northern cities.
Although, London is still the epicentre for many different sectors, the economic uncertainty and the knock-on effects of the 2008 financial crisis, has seen companies looking to the North. Many are looking at their budgets and how they can save money and they seem to be seeing the answer in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Tyneside and other Northern counties.
For a lot of businesses, there seems to be a lot of advantages to moving some or all of their operations out of London, including a less expensive location, improving competitiveness and expanding into a potentially less saturated market. There is also a new pool of candidates and skills available to the firms which can provide businesses with a new outlook and refreshed ideas.
For the Northern Powerhouse, however, the advantages are many including attracting big names to their cities, seeing an increase in investment and recruitment and bringing further regeneration into some of the most neglected areas of some of these cities.
Burberry aren’t the only company to move some of their operations to the North as both BBC and ITV Granada have relocated some of their productions and output to the new Media City UK Manchester in Salford over the past few years as a result of cost-cutting measures.
Cities across the North of England and Scotland, from Glasgow to Manchester, Leeds to Sheffield, are all benefiting from this practice and they have seen a growth in productivity, economy and their status within certain sectors.
It seems that moving away from London and the South East is an attractive venture at the moment as the appeal of North-Shoring and the Northern Powerhouse is catching on with a significant amount of UK businesses who are looking to protect themselves against an uncertain economy.