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Latest update : 2010-07-14

Can the British bubble survive the crisis?

Leeds, a city in the North of England, has just one motto: innovate or die. In the 1980s, the region was decimated by the closure of its coal mines. The city then set its sights on financial services, replacing coal miners with white-collar workers.

The British general election campaign put the country's economy in the spotlight. How to deal with the massive budget deficit, and how best to encourage recovery, were the key questions that divided the political parties.

Like much of the rest of the developed world, Britain was hit hard by the financial crisis. Now, official figures show the country is officially out of recession, but many ordinary people are still feeling the pinch.

So just how, in practice, is the country coping? Even more so than the US and its European neighbours, Britain, over past decades, has opted for an economy based heavily on the service and financial sectors. Yorkshire, in the North of England, is a region that has largely let go of its industrial and mining past. Despite some poverty hotspots, the area now has a vibrant and varied economy. In particular, the dynamic city of Leeds has reinvented itself as a financial hub, the UK’s largest outside of London.

France 24’s reporters Catherine Norris-Trent and Alexandra Renard travelled to Leeds, and other areas of Yorkshire, to witness this transformation and take the economic temperature.

By Catherine NORRIS TRENT , Alexandra RENARD

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