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Good Growth for Cities - South East

As we begin the new year, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is of course still unfolding. While that impact has been felt right across the UK, it has not been felt equally. In many ways the pandemic has reinforced existing economic and social disadvantages.

As you will be aware since 2012, we have published an annual Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index to measure the performance of cities and regions. The Good Growth Index looks beyond GDP and covers broad measures of economic wellbeing, including jobs, income, health, skills, work-life balance, housing, transport and the environment. 

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2:54

Keith Harrington

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Keith Harrington - South East Regional Chairman

Watch Keith give an overview of the South East region's cities' performance in the latest Good Growth for Cities Index, quite rightly focusing on:

  • the economic impact of COVID-19
  • recover prospects for the UK's largest towns and cities in 2021 and beyond

Julian Gray - Southampton Market Senior Partner

Watch Julian discuss Southampton again scoring above the UK average as well as:

  • Southampton has undoubtedly fared better than many cities across the UK, in fact ranking the third highest in our national index
  • Some of the initiatives the city is pursuing in response to these economic challenges

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2:30

Julian Gray

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3:00

Simon Bailey

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Simon Bailey - Gatwick Market Senior Partner

Watch Simon's video discussing:

  • how the South East had some of the lowest rates of workers on the UK Coronavirus Job Retention scheme
  • however, the local authority of Crawley, home to many workers from the nearby Gatwick Airport, had the highest take-up rate in the UK of the furlough scheme
  • why it is so important to focus on  ‘levelling up’ across the UK. 

John Ellis - Reading Market Senior Partner

Watch John as he discusses:

  • Reading placed second and performed above the index average across a number of variables
  • Reading has seen strong improvements across work-life balance, income and the skills of people aged 16-24
  • However, despite the higher score, there has been a sharp decline in the number of new businesses, which may reflect the current climate

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3:01

John Ellis

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PwC Cambridge and the East

Simon De Young - Cambridge Market Senior Partner

Overall the East of England has fared reasonably well in the latest Good for Growth Index. Cambridge came 10th in the index closely followed by Norwich in 13th.

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Simon De Young - Cambridge Market Senior Partner

Towns hit hard during the pandemic, such as Southend have seen their economies decrease by more than 13% whilst at the same time are projected as having strong GVA growth rates for 2021.

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PwC Good Growth for Cities Southend

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