Birmingham named fastest-improving city to work

Birmingham is the most rapidly improving city in the country to live and work, according to new PwC report.

The top 5 improvers are: Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Newcastle and Southampton – image courtesy of Pixabay

The report ‘Good Growth for Cities Index 2017’ measures the current performance of a range of the largest UK cities, and all Local Enterprise Partnership areas in England.

The study looks at the ten indicators based on the views of the public and business as to what is key to economic success and wellbeing.

As with the 2016 report, the two highest performing cities were Oxford and Reading, with Oxford maintaining its narrow lead at the top.

The most recent results also show a continuing gap between these two cities and the rest of the index.

However, it’s worth noting that in less affluent areas, some of the cities with low overall scores have seen some of the biggest increases, such as Middlesbrough & Stockton which is in the top 10 cities with most improved scores.

The top improvers: Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Newcastle and Southampton

For the first time in this year’s report we have also looked at how the four nations of the UK have performed. England and Scotland have outperformed Wales and, to a lesser extent, Northern Ireland almost throughout the entire period since 2005-07.

The analysis of English Combined Authorities shows a strong performance in metro mayor cities.

In May 2017, six new metro mayors were elected. Three of these were elected into regions containing cities in the top 10 improvers in our index: Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Liverpool. Other core cities in the top 10 improvers were Leeds and Newcastle – highlighting the increased pace of recovery in major urban centres in the UK.

However, the ‘price of success’ has also become increasingly evident recently. Declining scores since last year’s index in work-life balance, transport, health and particularly housing affordability highlight some of the ongoing challenges faced by UK cities.