The Vitality Index, which is compiled by national property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton, provides a comprehensive assessment of the health of UK town and cities, taking into account education, entrepreneurialism, affluence, productivity, growth and environmental factors. It identifies which destinations are best placed to support future economic growth and provide opportunities for businesses to expand over the coming year.
Of Edinburgh’s rise to the top, Ian Davidson, head of LSH’s Edinburgh office said: “It’s no surprise that Edinburgh has topped the rankings this year. It is an educated and increasingly affluent city and has a thriving social scene. Access to a substantial and diverse workforce underpins business success and expansion here, and supports the city’s wider growth.”
“As such, demand for space is very high. Our recent Scotland Office Market Report revealed an almost complete lack of grade A supply in Edinburgh city centre at present. This is great news for landlords and fuels investment in further property development and refurbishment, but presents challenges regarding the provision of quality opportunities in the short term.”
Izzy Watterson, senior analyst at LSH and author of the report, said: “Understandably, Brexit is commanding the nation’s attention and there is a great deal of uncertainty as to how things will unfold. Consequently, it is very reassuring to see that the economic health of the nation’s major towns and cities has improved since last year and the top ten locations should prove among the most economically-resilient locations of 2019.”
Although still dominated by the South East of England, the 2019 Vitality Index sees the Scottish capital top the rankings and the Welsh capital Cardiff feature in the top ten for the first time, moving from 18th position to number nine, due to increasing house prices and strong job growth. Although outside the top ten, Scotland’s third largest city Aberdeen showed a dramatic shift in the rankings moving up 25 places to number 16 due to recent recovery in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
Colchester also featured in the Index’s top ten for the first time, due to its rates of job growth and the city’s ambitious growth plans, which include a £3bn transformation project.
The 2019 top ten ranking is as follows:
- Brighton & Hove