York and Leeds should work together, utilising each other's strengths, says the president of York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

Maureen Loffill: we must exploit cluster possibilities

Maureen Loffill, also a director of York's Inward Investment Board, said: "At the moment we are both fighting for a piece of the pie. Together, we could actually make the pie bigger.

"Times move on and we must work together with Leeds for the new Millennium. The global dimension of commerce and industry now requires an integrated economy.

"We must exploit the obvious synergy and cluster possibilities that exist between the two cities."

She cited the partnership between the three White Rose universities - York, Leeds and Sheffield - as a prime example. "There was a time when the universities of York and Leeds would have worked totally independently of each other and seen each other in direct competition. Prof Tony Robards, pro vice-chancellor of York University has thought laterally on this one, because if all three seats of learning pool their resources they end up as a big player - serious competition to Oxbridge. Standing unilaterally we won't have had a look in.

"The cluster approach is creating something of even greater value and even greater competition."

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