Oxford and Reading are top for good city growth

Photo shows Forbury Place, Reading
Forbury Place, Reading

Oxford, Reading and Swindon all make the top 20 in accountancy company Pwc’s 2019 Good Growth for Cities report, with Oxford and Reading coming in at numbers one and two respectively.

The Good Growth for Cities 2019 report shows continued broad improvements across cities in the UK, driven in particular by falling unemployment rates and increases in new businesses.

Oxford Urban Gateway

Picture shows the proposed location of Oxford Urban Gateway

However, there are also signs that progress has plateaued, particularly among top performing cities in the index.

Overall, the price of success is becoming more pronounced, and declining scores in owner occupation, transport and housing affordability highlight some of the ongoing challenges faced by UK cities.

The long-term view shows that good growth improvements have been largely driven by skills and new businesses. As the economy and world of work transforms, ensuring people are equipped with the digital and other skills they need for future jobs and that they have opportunities to improve their living standards will be key to ensuring that individuals and places achieve their full potential.

When measured against the priorities chosen by the public, four out of eight cities in the Midlands achieve scores above the UK average, with two cities – Milton Keynes and Leicester – in the top ten of this year’s Good Growth for Cities index. The Midlands is notable for having a very wide range of results, with some of the highest and lowest performing cities in the index.