An independent report into the economic growth of cities and towns in the UK has highlighted Swindon’s place as one of the powerhouses of the country’s economy.
The latest Centre for Cities Outlook report, published this week, provides an annual summary of the economic performance of the 63 largest cities and towns in the UK and shows that Swindon has the eighth highest employment rate, higher than Reading and Milton Keynes.
And on paper, Swindon’s workforce are also more productive - with each providing a Gross Value Added figure of £62,700 against a national average of £57,600.
The town also has the third highest proportion of private sector jobs, up from fourth the previous year, and has one of the highest shares of highly skilled jobs.
The report indicates that between 2016 and 2017, Swindon saw the second highest increase in housing stock, which at 1.8 per cent puts the town behind only Cambridge.
Councillor Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Prosperity, said: “These figures show just how well Swindon’s economy performs year after year.
“We are a top location for wealth-creating private businesses and our employment and productivity levels continue to put us among the country’s high flying towns and cities.
“As a council, we work very hard to make sure our town prospers and I am extremely confident that we can continue to build on our economic achievements.”
Meeting social care costs continues to be a challenge for local authorities across the country and the council has seen one of the highest increases in social care spending, up 14 per cent compared with the national average increase of 7.8 per cent.
The Centre for Cities is an independent urban policy research unit and registered charity. The centre’s stated goal is to understand how and why economic growth and change takes place in the UK’s towns and cities.
The ongoing economic success of the town was underlined in November when highly regarded auditors Pricewaterhousecoopers ranked Swindon as 7th best place in the UK to live and work - based on a combination of social, economic and environmental factors. The report highlighted the high level of employment in the town as a key factor for the strong showing.
The PWC report placed Swindon just behind Edinburgh and one above Coventry. Oxford was ranked highest in the 2018 list.
To see the report click on this link