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Manchester shoots up list of UK economic growth prospects

Manchester has climbed to third in a list of the UK’s largest towns and cities outside London best positioned for growth.

A rise in workers’ wages and an increase in the number of business per capita boosted the city’s position on Lambert Smith Hampton’s (LSH) UK Vitality Index for 2018.

LSH’s report, which also takes into account which cites provide the greatest opportunities for business growth, was again topped by Cambridge.

Manchester moved from ninth to third on the rankings as a result of the workforce seeing wages increase by 8% over the last two years compared to the UK average of 4%.

The LSH Vitality Index assesses the UK’s 66 largest towns and cities outside London. The results are based on the analysis of 20 datasets, with each location ranked within six separate sub-indices: most productive, fastest growing, most entrepreneurial, best educated, greenest and rising affluence.

Overall, the top 10 towns and cities in the UK Vitality Index 2018 are:

  1. Cambridge
  2. Oxford
  3. Manchester
  4. Brighton & Hove
  5. Edinburgh
  6. Guildford
  7. Bristol
  8. Reading
  9. Milton Keynes
  10. St Albans

Isabel Watterson, senior analyst at LSH, says: “While Cambridge has stolen the headlines again, the most striking result this year is the meteoric rise of Manchester.

“The unofficial capital of the Northern Powerhouse is really cementing its position as the UK’s second city, boasting a growing reputation as a hotbed for creative talent and new businesses.

“Manchester also led a tangible improvement across the Northern Powerhouse, with Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool’s rankings all improving upon last year.”