The report assesses the UK’s 65 largest towns and cities outside London to provide a health check of their local economies and identify the most robust, best-positioned locations, which support growth, and provide the greatest opportunities for businesses to expand. LSH bases the results on the analysis of 20 datasets, with each location ranked within six separate categories: most productive, fastest growing, most entrepreneurial, best-educated, greenest and rising affluence.
Sunderland rose six places up the list of the UK’s most productive towns and cities, from 65th place in 2016 to 59th in 2017. Newcastle rose five places year on year from 49th to 44th, which also rising three places up the list of fastest growing cities and towns, from 52nd to 49th year on year.
Both Sunderland and Newcastle rose up the rankings of most educated towns and cities. Sunderland moved up seven places from 59th to 52nd and Newcastle rose three places from 25th to 22nd.
Bill Lynn, Director of Capital Markets at LSH Newcastle, commented: “Having a quality environment in which to live and work is key to attracting and retaining the best talent. As the North seeks to capitalise on corporate relocations from London as a result of the capital’s ever increasing property costs, economic indicators such as our Vitality Index, will become increasingly crucial in the decision making process – the North East clearly still has much to improve on but we are delighted to see Newcastle and Northumberland rising up the ranks.”
Five of this year’s top 10 locations are in the South East, the UK’s fastest growing region outside London, with Cambridge topping the list. However, having climbed into the top 10 for the first time last year, Manchester retained its position at eighth in the rankings. The unofficial capital of the Northern Powerhouse is one of the fastest growing city economies in the UK with a high proportion of millennials in its population. The city boasts a strong graduate retention rate and is a hot-bed for business start-ups, adding to the dynamism of the city.