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News - 11/12/2014

Guildford comes top of the class for economic growth prospects

Beating all other towns and cities in the UK outside of London, Guildford has the best prospects for economic growth, according to new research published today by commercial property consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH).

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The latest edition of LSH’s annual ‘UK Vitality Index’ reveals that the Surrey town has replaced Cambridge as the destination best placed to support economic expansion over the next 12 months.

Performing consistently strongly across many categories in the index, Guildford improved its ranking for most productive, most entrepreneurial and fastest growing and came top for most highly educated and most affluent.

Guildford is 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.

Paul Dowson, Head of Office for Lambert Smith Hampton, Guildford, explains: “Guildford has a strong science and innovation sector as well as a thriving professional services community and this broad business base has enabled the town to develop as the power house of the Surrey economy.

“However, this must be matched by investment in infrastructure and amenities to ensure the growth and vitality of Guildford is to continue.

“As examples, the proposed railway station redevelopment, the North Street retail development and the new Waitrose scheme can be positive growth drivers for Guilford, but these must be accompanied by developed infrastructure solutions, such as improvements for the town centre gyratory and the A3 which are already running at capacity.”

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


Data calculation
The ‘UK Vitality Index’ assesses the UK’s largest towns and cities outside London to provide a health check, identifying which have the most robust economies, 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 city ranked within six separate categories: most productive, fastest growing, most entrepreneurial, best educated, greenest and most affluent.



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