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News - 11/12/2014

Guildford best placed to drive economic growth in 2015

Guildford has the best prospects for economic growth of any major UK destination outside London, according to Lambert Smith Hampton's latest 'UK Vitality Index' published today.

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The report reveals that the Surrey town has replaced Cambridge as the destination best placed to support economic expansion over the next 12 months.

Visit the 'UK Vitality Index' microsite.

The ‘UK Vitality Index’ assesses the UK’s largest towns and cities outside London to provide a health check of their local economies and identify which are most robust, are best positioned to support growth and will provide the greatest opportunities for businesses to expand.  The results are based on the analysis of 20 datasets, with each location ranked within six separate categories: most productive, fastest growing, most entrepreneurial, best educated, greenest and most affluent.

Overall, the top 10 towns and cities in the 2015 UK Vitality Index are:

  1. Guildford
  2. Cambridge
  3. Brighton
  4. Reading
  5. Warwick
  6. St Albans
  7. Milton Keynes
  8. Oxford
  9. Edinburgh
  10. York

Oxford and York are both new entries into the top ten this year, on the back of greater corporate investment and an increase in the number of recent business start-ups respectively.

The report also identifies Manchester, Northampton and Derby as the most significant improvers over the past 12 months.

Ezra Nahome, CEO at LSH, said: “The country’s major towns and cities have made a considerable contribution to economic growth over the past 12 months, and our research suggests that they will continue to do so in 2015. 

“Almost 80% of UK GDP is generated outside London so it is vital not to overlook the importance of the regions to national economic and business expansion.

“Guildford is the top-ranked city in our index. The town benefits from being home to one of the country’s most respected universities and is set to attract considerable investment over the next year or so, including a £150m regeneration scheme based around the railway station.

“Although the South East remains the best performing region – half of the top ten is located in the area – it is encouraging to see York joining the top tier for the first time and destinations such as Manchester, Northampton and Derby climbing up the rankings.  All of the regions have an important role to play in delivering  economic prosperity and it appears that they are making progress in fulfilling this obligation.”

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