Economic Outlook: Warwickshire performs well in new UK Competitiveness Index
The University of Cardiff, in association with the Nottingham Business School have launched the latest release of their UK Competitiveness Index, which benchmarks the competitiveness of all 379 local authority district areas in the country across a range of economic indicators. The index has been designed to be an integrated measure of competitiveness focusing on both the development and sustainability of businesses and the economic welfare of individuals. In this respect, competitiveness is considered to consist of the capability of an economy to attract and maintain firms with stable or rising market shares in an activity, while maintaining stable or increasing standards of living for those who participate in it
Looking at the top 10 most competitive localities in 2019, it is perhaps of no surprise that London dominates the rankings. The City of London comes out in poll position, well ahead of second place, Westminster and third place, Camden. This undoubtedly comes as a result of its dominant financial and professional sectors considerably elevating its position.
London’s dominance can be visibly seen in the map showing the distribution of UKCI scores across Great Britain in 2019. Strong hues of red, orange and yellow visibly dictate the south east with cold tones of blue spread across the north of the isles. However, the districts of Warwickshire on the whole perform well in this new index, and some are amongst the most economically competitive, not only regionally but also nationally.
The UKCI rank Warwick as the 37th most economically competitive area amongst a total of 379 areas nationally, and is the highest ranking area in the whole of the West Midlands. Four out of the five districts and boroughs in Warwickshire are ranked in the top 100 of the UKCI with Stratford on Avon ranking 54th , Rugby ranking 76th (up 4 places when compared to the 2015 UKCI) and North Warwickshire ranking 84th (breaking into the top 100 - previously 125th in 2015).
The blue area on the map of Warwickshire represents Nuneaton and Bedworth and contrasts somewhat to its competitive neighbours. This locality ranks 300th nationally and comes in last place in the West Midlands. This stark disparity is very significant, and highlights the need for a strong and co-ordinated focus on growing and supporting the Nuneaton & Bedworth economy, and the importance of initiatives such as Transforming Nuneaton.
The full UKCI 2019 report can be found here.