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Bradford crowned ‘most-improved’ city

Bradford has been named as the most improved city in the UK in a study, which measures good economic growth.

The 2019 Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities index measures the performance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and ten combined authorities, against a basket of ten factors which the public think are most important when it comes to economic well-being.

These include jobs, health, income and skills, as well as work-life balance, house-affordability, travel-to-work times, income equality, environment and business start-ups.

According to the report, Bradford emerged as this year’s top improver, driven by jobs, work-life balance and skills amongst its 25+ year olds.

Bradford has experienced a large reduction in its unemployment rate, measured at 4.1% in 2018 compared to 10% in 2015.

The city also demonstrated moderate improvements in work-life balance, health, environment and skills amongst the adult population.

For the fourth year running, Oxford and Reading have been named the top-performing cities on PwC’s Good Growth for Cities 2019 index, followed by Southampton in third place.

‘Our research shows the need to take a comprehensive approach to growth, focusing on improving productivity to compete on a global stage, but also on ensuring fairness and inclusive growth so that people and places don’t feel left behind.,’ said PwC partner and local govement leader, Jonathan House.

‘Local leaders need to take a broad view on what economic success means, focusing on the outcomes they want to achieve in terms of inclusive growth, community resilience and improved experience, and crucially, having a plan to translate those ambitions into reality.

‘Skills amongst the working age population, alongside the number of new businesses created, have seen the largest improvements; this is a result of leaders focusing on building new opportunities and investing in the talent of their city and region,’ added Mr House.

‘The UK’s cities are known globally for their skills, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Our most successful cities don’t compete against other UK cities, they compete against cities across Europe, the Middle East and the US.

‘As the UK’s position on the world stage shifts, cities and regions will need to reposition themselves too, and consider how they can stand out and compete globally, improve productivity and support innovation, while also creating places that are fair and inclusive.’

The 2019 Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities is available to read here.

Photo Credit – Rawpixel (Pixabay)

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