Economic think tank puts Swindon among the UK’s top towns and cities

Swindon continues to have one of the best-performing economies in the country, according to the latest outlook report released by the independent think tank, Centre for Cities, which was published this week.

The report provides an annual economic performance index of the 63 largest cities and towns in the UK and shows that Swindon is ranked seventh in Britain when it comes to the rate of productivity per worker – up three places from a year ago.

According to the report, Swindon’s GVA (Gross Value Added) per worker is £59,500 – higher than the national average of £56,600 and greater than that of cities such as Aberdeen, Portsmouth and Bristol.

Swindon is also apparently “outpointing many large towns and cities” in terms of its employment rate. With an employment rate of 80.6 percent, only Crawley (86.6 percent) and Worthing (83.1 percent) are ranked higher. The town’s employment rate is also “significantly higher” than the national average of 74.2 percent.

The continued high level of investment from private firms in the town has ensured that for each public sector job in Swindon, there are four private sector roles – the third highest rate in the country.

Skill levels are “a key component” of the success of a city economy, according to the report, and Swindon fares well in these indicators coming out with the fourth lowest percentage of residents with no formal qualifications (3.9 percent). The national average is 8.3 percent.

Although Swindon is ranked seventh for house price increases (8.2 percent) the average price of a house in the Borough is still £54,800 lower than the national average.

Cllr David Renard, leader of the Swindon Borough Council, remarked that the figures were “hugely encouraging.”

He said: “It is further evidence that Swindon is a great place to do business, with a skilled workforce and house prices still significantly below the national average.”

Cllr Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for the economy and skills, commented: “It is a real feather in our cap that Swindon is once again rubbing shoulders with some of the country’s biggest towns and cities in these key economic indicators.

He added: “We also have huge potential for growth with hundreds of digital micro businesses and, of course, large-scale development in the pipeline not to mention the huge regeneration plans to create a regional leisure destination at North Star.”

The Centre for Cities Outlook report 2018 can be found here:http://www.centreforcities.org/publication/cities-outlook-2018/

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