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Southampton third on PwC’s Good Growth for Cities index

For the third year in a row, Southampton has been ranked the third best performing UK city on PwC’s Good Growth for Cities 2019 index, topped only by Oxford and Reading.

The annual Good Growth for Cities 2019 sets out to show there is more to life, work and general wellbeing than simply measuring GDP. It measures the performance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities, England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and ten Combined Authorities, against a basket of 10 factors which the public think are most important when it comes to economic well being. These include jobs, health, income and skills, as well as work-life balance, house-affordability, travel-to-work times, income equality, environment and business start-ups.

Since the index began 11 years ago, Southampton has consistently made the top 10, and for the last three years, it’s achieved third place. This is following strong performances in income improvements, diversity of skills and the creation of sustainable environments.

This year’s index has shown strong growth across the whole of the South East, with improvements in income, the environment and new businesses per head. Six out of eight cities in the South East have scored above the UK average.

“To see Southampton ranked once again in the top three cities for good growth in the UK is testimony to our continued commitment to sustainable development.

“Our local economy performed better than any other city on the South Coast during the second quarter of 2019, according to last month’s UK Powerhouse report. Coupled with this, our consistently high position in PwC’s Good Growth for Cities index shows that our strong GDP growth is being achieved in a way that also offers economic wellbeing and stability for residents.

“With our City of Culture bid and next year’s Mayflower 400 celebrations, there’s so much going on in Southampton at the moment. We’re building global partnerships, have a thriving tech sector, and have long-term development plans with the Mayflower Quarter. This will continue to provide homes for businesses and residents while bringing forward development opportunities and state of the art public realm. All of this is underpinned by a sustainable transport vision connecting the city.”

Sandy Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer at Southampton City Council

“It’s fantastic to see Southampton once again rank in third place in PwC’s Good Growth for Cities index. Across the city, the private and public sector are successfully working together to stimulate growth, and enhance the city’s commercial, cultural and civic life.

“With highly skilled workers, an abundance of research and development activity, and the home of major institutions such as Southampton University and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton is a dynamic, vibrant area, and an attractive place to invest, live and work.”

Julian Gray, PwC Southampton Office Senior Partner

“It’s fantastic to see that Oxford, Reading and Southampton have ranked as the UK’s top performing cities for the third year in a row. It shows that despite changing business climates, South East cities are continuing to grow. At PwC we've been investing in our South East practice, recognising the huge opportunities the region presents.

Keith Harrington, PwC South East Regional Leader

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