Cambridge has been deemed the city with the best prospects for economic growth in the UK outside of London, says Lambert Smith Hampton’s latest ‘UK Vitality Index’.
It reports that Cambridge knocked Guildford off the top spot as the destination that best supports economic growth over the next 12 months, making it the third year in a row that it has topped the Vitality Index.
The UK Vitality Index is a system which assesses the largest towns in the UK and cities outside of the capital, providing health checks of their local economies and which will be best to support the expansion of businesses. Categories that are analysed are: most productive, fastest growing, best educated, most entrepreneurial, greenest and rising affluence.
South East locations were the most dominant, while the Northern Powerhouse saw 10% increase of the total sum of Index scores. Manchester helped boost this, which saw a move into the top ten destinations for the first time, along with Warrington that saw the largest improvement in the survey with a 10% rise in index score from last year.
Another new entrant into the top ten of 2016 was Bristol, due to its growing affluence and education.
Research Analyst at LSH, Isabel Watterson, commented: “Unsurprisingly, Cambridge does particularly well in terms of educational attainment being home to the UK’s top ranked university, and has the highest proportion of residents qualified to degree level or above. This offers businesses with a quality of labour pool and an opportunity to tap into the city’s world renowned reputation as a hub of scientific expertise.”
She also says that commuter towns such as Guildford performed well, with “dynamic hubs of commerce and high tech industry such as Oxford, Milton Keynes and Reading.”
Speaking of the Northern Powerhouse, Isabel Watterson concluded: “Although the South East remains the best performing region, it is encouraging to see that the Northern Powerhouse locations together saw an increase of 10% in the total sum of the index scores on last year.
“As infrastructure is improved, we expect a rise in the number of London-based companies to locate in the region, in order to avoid the rising costs of the capital. This bodes well for sustaining the Northern Powerhouse initiative in the years and decades to come.”
The top 10 towns and cities in the UK Vitality Index in 2016 are:
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