Our annual index of economic wellbeing in UK cities
In the wake of the EU referendum result and its potential implications for the economy, it is no surprise that the government is placing renewed focus on driving growth, with an emphasis on ensuring that no cities or regions should be left behind.
But a city’s vision for growth must extend beyond using Gross Value Added (GVA) as a measure of local economic success. The debate on local economic development needs to recognise the total impact that new policies and interventions can have in a place.
Importantly, places need to see success through the lens of what the public wants and needs, in both an economic and social sense.
Now in its fifth year, the PwC-Demos Good Growth for Cities index measures economic wellbeing as seen through the eyes of the public.
Oxford and Reading remain at the top of the index: A substantial gap has also opened up between these two cities and the rest, reflecting their continued improvement in jobs, income, skills and new businesses.
Improved performance across the board: Across the UK, the index has moved back above previous peaks for the first time since the financial crisis. Virtually all cities have seen an improvement in score since last year.
Doncaster and Wakefield are among the greatest improvers: The cities which have shown the most substantial improvement since 2012-14 come from right across the index, including Doncaster, Wakefield & Castleford and Swindon and Coventry.
‘Brexit’ - a risk to future improvement in city scores: As the process to leave the EU continues, cities need to pay attention to the potential impact on the housing market, employment and income levels.
Combined Authorities – common challenges: All Combined Authorities, included in the index for the first time, have both areas of significant relative strength, but also potential development areas they need to consider.