Regeneration has failed in cities such as Liverpool and Sunderland says influential 'right of centre' Policy Exchange

The regeneration of northern cities like Liverpool and Sunderland is failing and residents should cut their losses and move south, according to a think tank report.

The controversial report from Policy Exchange argues that current regeneration policies are "failing" the people they are designed to help. The report advises that residents should undertake a mass migration to areas like London, Oxford and Cambridge to avoid becoming “trapped” in poorer areas.

The report said the three million affordable new homes planned by the government should be built in these southern areas to enable people to migrate south.

It added that money currently being pumped into renewal projects and back-to-work schemes should instead be given directly to councils, according to local wage levels, to spend on regeneration measures.

The report concluded: “No-one is suggesting that residents should be forced to move, but we do argue that they should be told the reality of the position: regeneration, in the sense of convergence, will not happen, because it is not possible”.

Policy Exchange is considered to be one of the most influential right of centre think tanks.