The age old debate of what constitutes the North and South of England has been a topic of conversation in the Enventure Research office on several occasions. With colleagues hailing from the North and South, as well as the Midlands, there is a fairly even keel of representatives from each region and a difference in opinion. Most Southerners will tell you that the North is anywhere above the Watford Gap, whilst those from Newcastle are likely to consider anywhere below Sunderland to be in the South.
When Enventure Research was commissioned to undertake a series of focus groups on behalf of the Midlands Engine to gauge Midlands residents’ understanding of the organisation, a new debate was sparked in the office: Where does the Midlands fit within the North and South divide?
A recent piece of research undertaken by YouGov discovered that the majority of English adults thought that the East and West Midlands were part of neither North nor South (65% and 62% respectively), suggesting that it is its own region. English adults were much more likely, though, to consider the East and West Midlands to be part of the North (26% and 24% respectively) than the South (7% and 8% respectively). The research also showed that East Midlanders were more likely to think of their region to be part of the North than West Midlanders (25% compared with 16%).
YouGov’s research, therefore, found that whilst the Midlands is more widely thought of as being part of the North than the South, it should be recognised as its own region. This leaves us with our next topic of debate in the office: Where does the Midlands start and end?
You can read more about the piece of research we did for the Midlands Engine here until we undertake the second phase of qualitative research for the organisation later this year.