If you create a region with good or outstanding schools combined with affordable housing and falling crime rates and funded opportunities for small businesses the rest will follow.
Bullshit. The fact of the matter is that the South East of England is going to prosper and the rest of Britain is largely going to shit. You can do all you want to try to create jobs, opportunity, education etc in the provinces but at the end of the day you're pissing in the wind. Most of the big business will gradually move to the SE.
Look at Astra Zeneca in Alderley Edge...
Cheap Houses - Yes (obviously not in AE itself :-))
Educated workforce - yes
Experienced workforce - yes
Skilled workforce - yes
Existing factory and laboratory buildings - yes
And what are they doing.... closing the whole lot down and moving it to Cambridge because they think Northern/Middle England is too far away from SE England to sustain. They have everything they need but are moving/binning all they have built up over the years to join the drain to the SE.
If a company that big with a commitment that big to Cheshire and a set of skilled workers that good is giving up the fight and moving away then that clearly says that the rest of Britain to completely *&^)ed quite frankly. The valleys in Wales with only 1 of the following items in their favour have zero chance.
Cheap Houses - Yes
Educated workforce - no
Experienced workforce - no
Skilled workforce -no
Existing factory and laboratory buildings - no
Sorry, none of this is really relevant to the OP, but the drain in the UK annoys me like nothing else. Nearly every part of Britain contributed important things to make Britain Great and as part of that process made London and SE England prosperous. Now that general wealth has gone, but London continues to reap the benefits whilst the rest of the country dies.
Yes, I know you were talking about small business, and I mentioned big Pharma, so my point makes no sense at all. I just wanted a rant.