Oxford has been named as the top city for economic wellbeing in PWC’s annual “Good Growth for Cities” index for the second year in succession.
The index measures the performance of the main UK cities and Local Enterprise Partnership against a range of indicators of economic success and wellbeing, based on the views of the public and business. These include employment, health, income, skills, housing affordability, owner occupation, transport, environmental factors, income inequality and new business start-ups.
The 2017 report highlights Oxford’s continued strong performance and confirms that the city has maintained a well-balanced and fast growing economy, with particular strengths in job creation, high level skills, good wage levels and a good record of personal health. The city’s weaknesses are in two key areas which the Oxfordshire Growth Board has prioritised in its discussions with government for additional funding: the high cost of housing and lack of investment in transport infrastructure. Oxfordshire's Local Enterprise Partnership remains the most successful in the country in delivering good growth.
PWC highlights the importance of cities creating Future Visions designed to shape their communities to achieve inclusive economic growth and high quality environments. They also stress the value of local industrial strategies spanning skills, infrastructure, innovation and business growth. This week Oxford City Council launched a public consultation on the creation of a vision for Oxford in 2050.
John Hawksworth, Chief Economist, PWC said: “If cities are to sustain the strong performance of recent years, this puts a priority on delivering place based growth which is inclusive and addresses key supply side constraints, particularly infrastructure.”
Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “These results are very pleasing. They reflect the dynamism of the local economy and the steady creation of new jobs in recent years. They are also a tribute to the excellence of our local health services. It is interesting to note that there is evidence of greater equality in income distribution. The City Council and our colleagues in the County Council and the Growth Board remain focused on tackling those areas where Oxford continues to lag – on the availability of affordable housing and need for greater investment in infrastructure. Our creation of a 2050 vision for Oxford will help ensure we can all continue to us to make the right choices to create the sort of city that people are happy with.”
Reading comes second in the PWC Good Growth for Cities Index 2017 after Oxford, and the results show a continuing gap between these two cities and the rest of the UK cities.
Read the full on the PWC website.